LAKE FOREST – The Chicago Bears have found their new person to take a prominent position with the team.

The team officially hired Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren as their new team president and CEO on Thursday morning.

He will replace Ted Phillips, who announced he would step down from the position at the end of the 2022 season.

“I am honored and recognize the responsibility bestowed upon me to lead the Chicago Bears during this exciting and pivotal time for the franchise. I look forward to building on the rich tradition that started with George Halas and connecting with the unique and vibrant fanbase in Chicago,” said Warren in a statement released by the team. “I join the Chicago Bears with gratitude and drive to carry out and build upon the legacy and spirit of this founding franchise and my predecessors. This is a franchise that is respected in all of professional sports, and I am humbled to be selected as the next President & CEO of the Chicago Bears. I sincerely thank Virginia McCaskey, George McCaskey, the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and the search team, for the responsibility and trust placed in me to lead the Chicago Bears and deliver championships to Chicago.”

Warren has been the Big Ten commissioner since 2020 where he’s overseen another expansion of the conference as they’ll add USC and UCLA in the coming years. He also guided the conference through the COVID-19 pandemic in his first year.

Before that, Warren had significant experience in the NFL, serving as Minnesota’s chief operating officer from 2005-2019. In that role, he oversaw the funding and construction of US Bank Stadium, which was finished for the 2016 season, which was a long-sought replacement for the aging Metrodome.

The Bears are currently looking at a new stadium of their own as they signed a purchase agreement for Arlington Park in 2021. Started under Phillips, Warren will now lead that project as the team continues to explore the possibility of building a stadium on the site.

“Kevin is a man of integrity, respect and excellence, all of which are critical core values of the Chicago Bears, and we welcome his perspective and diverse thought to lead this storied organization,” said McCaskey in a statement from the team. “He is a proven leader who has many times stepped outside of his comfort zone to challenge status quo for unconventional growth and prosperity. In this role, Warren will serve in the primary leadership position of the franchise to help bring the next Super Bowl championship trophy home to Bears fans.”