LAKE FOREST — Monday is a rare day at Halas Hall as new leadership arrives at the Bears’ headquarters.
While he was officially hired for the position back on January 12, Kevin Warren’s first day as the team’s president and chief executive officer was Monday as the team begins their offseason workout program.
Over the last few months, Warren has been finishing up his duties as the commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. According to the Bears, he’s been in discussions with general manager Ryan Poles along with outgoing team president and CEO Ted Phillips as he prepares to retire.
Warren joins the organization as the team’s fifth full time president since its founding in 1920. George Halas, George “Mugs” Halas Jr., Michael McCaskey, and Phillips were the four people to hold the position before 2023.
Phillips is retiring after serving as the Bears’ president since 1999 when he replaced McCaskey. During his time with the franchise, he oversaw the team’s renovation of Soldier Field in 2002 and 2003 while also securing the purchase agreement for the Arlington Park property.
Warren’s biggest job as he officially starts with the team will be to complete the building of a new enclosed stadium on that site in the Northwest Suburbs to replace Soldier Field, the Bears home since 1971.
During his time with the Vikings, where he was last the Chief Operating Officer from 2015-2019, Warren was a part of the team’s building of US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. That venue replaced the Metrodome, which had been the Minnesota NFL team’s home since 1982.
Along with building the stadium on the 326-acre site in Arlington Heights, Warren will attempt to work with Poles to end the franchise’s 38-year championship drought. During the Phillips era, the Bears made the playoffs six times and won the NFC Championship in the 2006 season, but the team only made the playoffs twice in his last 12 seasons.
The Bears’ last playoff win was on January 16, 2011 against the Seahawks at Soldier Field, with the team going 0-3 in the postseason since.