MLB Celtic stakeholder becomes new Oakland A's boss

Club owners approved the transition during meetings Thursday at Chicago.

  • Published:
Former managing general partner of the Oakland Athletics, Lew Wolff, seen in 2014, left the role November 17, 2016, leaving space for John Fisher to take the role play

Former managing general partner of the Oakland Athletics, Lew Wolff, seen in 2014, left the role November 17, 2016, leaving space for John Fisher to take the role

(Getty/AFP/File)
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John Fisher, a stakeholder in Scottish football's Celtic and Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes, will become managing general partner of baseball's Oakland A's following Thursday's departure of Lew Wolff from the role.

Wolff stepped down and announced an agreement has been reached in principle for him to sell his interest in the Major League Baseball club to the remainder of the ownership group.

Club owners approved the transition during meetings Thursday at Chicago.

"I want to thank Lew for his leadership over the last 11 years," Fisher said. "His initiative and love of the game of baseball brought my family to the A's, and we would not be involved without him.

"It's a privilege for me to steward the A's at this important moment for the franchise."

Fisher, the son of Gap Inc. founders Donald and Doris Fisher, had joined Wolff in hotel investments in the San Francisco Bay Area before combining forces to buy the A's.

Wolff led the $180 million purchase of the American League club in 2005 and has tried in vain to find a new stadium deal for the club, unable to relocate to two proposed ballparks elsewhere in the region.

"John and I have talked in great length about the future of this club and I am ready to pass the reins to him," Wolff said.

The team signed a 10-year lease in 2014 to stay in their home stadium, which they share with the NFL's Oakland Raiders, the only venue still used by teams in both leagues, a move common in the 1970s but now disliked by bosses in both leagues.

The A's have made the playoffs four times with Wolff in charge, most recently in 2014 when they lost the wild-card playoff game to eventual American League winner Kansas City. The team has lost 94 and 93 games in the past two 162-game campaigns.

Dave Kaval, president of Major League Soccer's Earthquakes, will replace A's president Michael Crowley, who like Wolff will remain in an advisory role. Kaval will also stay with the Earthquakes.

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