The Toronto Blue Jays have confirmed that Mark Shapiro will become their new president and chief executive officer, an appointment that he will assume at the end of the current Major League Baseball season.
Shapiro will take over from Paul Beeston, the long-time head of the baseball club who has announced he will be retiring at this season's end.
Shapiro, 48, has spent the last 24 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, the last five as president. The Indians will begin a three-game series against the streaking Blue Jays Monday night at Rogers Centre.
"Mark is a seasoned baseball veteran, whose leadership, drive for excellence, and commitment to all aspects of the game is impressive," Edward Rogers, chairman of the Blue Jays and deputy chairman of Rogers Communications, the owner of the baseball club, said in a news release. "We have confidence that he is the right person to lead the Toronto Blue Jays into the future and build upon the franchise's legacy."
Said Shapiro: "Toronto is a world-class city and sports mecca, with an exciting ball club that has support from Canadians all across the country. The Toronto Blue Jays are a first-rate organization with outstanding leadership from Paul Beeston and a firm commitment from ownership to field a winning team. I am excited to be part of the Rogers team and work with Guy Laurence and Rick Brace, and am honorred to be following in the footsteps of one of baseball's greatest leaders, as I look to build on the franchise's strong foundation and legacy in Canadian sport."
Shapiro will report directly to Brace, who is the president of Rogers Media.
During his tenure with the Cleveland, the Indians appeared in the post-season eight times, including two World Series.
Following both the 2005 and 2007 seasons, Shapiro was named the Sporting News executive of the year. He was also named executive of the year by Baseball America in 2005 and was named to the elite "40 under 40" by Sports Business Journal in 2006.
"I have known Mark for many years," Beeston said in the news release. "He is an exemplary executive and his passion for baseball and winning is remarkable. I am happy to pass him the baton – but not just yet; Alex (Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos), the team, and I have a little more work to do and we're focused on putting more Ws in the win column."