CHICAGO – During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blackhawks made a major change in their organization as they said goodbye to longtime team president John McDonough.
A number of months later, the team is switching up their leadership structure as they prepare to enter a new era of the franchise.
Danny Wirtz will take over as the team’s chief executive officer, with Jamie Faulkner being named the president of business operations. Current general manager Stan Bowman retains that title, while also being named the president of hockey operations.
What this signals is a change in the thinking of the organization, with the power of one now distributed to a few others in the organization. That was not the case under McDonough, who had strong powers during the team’s build to a dynasty during the 2010s.
It also represents another move up for Bowman, who now adds extra duties on to his role with the team while continuing to follow through on a restructuring of the team on the ice. In October, the Blackhawks released a letter that indicated the team was headed more toward a rebuild after a decade of going “all in” for a championship.
Bowman is familiar to the team’s front office, Faulkner is a newcomer, making her way to the franchise after founding and leading E15 – a consulting strategy and analytics company. She’s been honored for her work, being named a Sports Business Journal’s Women Game Changers in Sports in 2015 and to SBJ’s “40 Under 40” list a year later.
“I am excited for the opportunity take the iconic franchise of the Chicago Blackhawks—rich with a historic past and strong foundation in Chicago and beyond—to the next level and help write a new chapter for the Blackhawks and our fans,” said Faulkner in a statement released by the team. “I appreciate the support of Rocky and Danny and look forward to furthering their vision. Partnering with Stan, we will craft a best-in-class product and experience on and off the ice of which our fans can be proud.”
It’s a new look to a front office where McDonough reigned for a decade-and-a-half, reflective of a new era of the franchise looking to create another stretch like the had the past decade.
“Jaime and Stan bring a modern leadership style that embodies the approach needed to evolve in these dynamic times, continuing to elevate the Blackhawks to elite levels on and off the ice,” said Wirtz. “I look forward to partnering with them and watching them work together with our on and off ice teams to achieve our collective goals.
“Both with backgrounds in data and analytics, Jaime and Stan are a dynamic duo whose partnership will trickle down to everything in our organization from on-ice hockey strategy to the fan experience at the United Center and beyond.”