Vikings COO Kevin Warren will leave the team to become the new Commissioner of the Big 10. The Vikings will embark on an extended effort to determine the future of the franchise, following his departure.
“Kevin has impacted the Vikings and our family in immeasurable ways over the last 15 years,” Mark and Zygi Wilf said in a statement issued by the team they own. “He has worked tirelessly to elevate the Vikings franchise, all with the greater good of the organization and Minneapolis-St. Paul in mind. From the very onset, Kevin helped us navigate and execute the purchase of the franchise. He then evolved as a leader of the organization in ways we never could have imagined, leading our vision for U.S. Bank Stadium and TCO Performance Center, developing a world-class fan experience, and implementing many initiatives that have transformed our franchise with the benefit of our employees and Vikings fans top of mind. Kevin has been a tremendous leader for the Vikings and he and his family have been passionately and intricately involved in the community, enhancing the lives of so many people.
“We know the Big Ten and their student-athletes, coaches, and administrators are extremely fortunate to have his leadership, character, and vision, and we wish Kevin and the Warren family all the best. We will work with Kevin and the Vikings management team over the next three months to help us through this transition and process how we want to move forward.”
It won’t be an easy decision for the Vikings. Because the Wilfs reside in New Jersey, Warren served as a surrogate owner of sorts, providing the day-to-day presence in the facility that ownership couldn’t. Without that element, dysfunction quickly can set in.
Unless Mark Wilf and/or Zygi Wilf plan to relocate to Minnesota, they’ll need a new leader of the organization who can provided that day-to-day focus, leadership, and accountability.