Since last year, a number of major corporations have either replaced their CEOs or announced plans to do so in the coming months. This includes Kevin Warren, an attorney and sports executive who is giving the Chicago Bears' fanbase something to cheer about. That's because in January of 2023 the Bears announced that they hired Warren to lead the organization, both as President and CEO. Warren, whose first day on the job was April 17, is a highly-respected longtime executive. Having spent most of his life involved in the world of sports, the new Bears CEO shows all the signs of being able to take the NFL team into an exciting new chapter.
As a youngster, Warren was struck by a vehicle and told that he may never walk again. But he eventually recovered and ultimately became a college basketball star, helping the University of Pennsylvaniawin the 1982 Ivy League championship. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame Law School, he began his career practicing sports law in 1990. Seven years later, he switched over to the NFL when the Rams hired him as vice president of player programs and football legal counsel. Notably, he was an executive of the organization when it won Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. Later, he would go on to work for the Lions and the Vikings, becoming the first African-American chief operating officer (COO) of an NFL team.
Then in 2020, Warren became the sixth Big Ten Commissioner in conference history, making him the first Black man to run a Power Five conference. In that role, he oversaw the Big Ten's major expansion with the additions of UCLA and USC to the conference. He also secured groundbreaking media rights agreements with CBS, NBC, FOX, and Peacock.
Aside from sports, philanthropy is an important part of Warren's life. Over the years, he has started non-profits and created a scholarship program. He is the recipient of ESPN's Legacy Award and a prestigious Sports Leadership Award, which was given to him by the March of Dimes.
Presently, in his new role with the Bears, Warren will be tasked with taking over the Arlington Heights stadium project, a 326-acre site that the Bears closed on in February for $197.2 million. Warren also has some longtime ties to the Bears organization. During his time as a NFL agent, he represented former Bears and Notre Dame standout Chris Zorich in the 1990s.