Chicago Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips will retire at the conclusion of the 2022 season, the team announced Friday.
Phillips is entering his 40th season with the team and has served as the franchise’s president since 1999. He has had a hand in hiring four general managers during his tenure as team president: Jerry Angelo, Phil Emery, Ryan Pace and most recently Ryan Poles.
Bears chairman George McCaskey announced in January that Phillips’ responsibilities were changing to allow Phillips to focus on the team’s acquisition of the former Arlington International Racecourse property and a potential stadium on the site.
The search for Phillips’ successor will begin immediately.
“I have been truly blessed with the honor of working for the Chicago Bears for 40 seasons and look forward to leading the team through the 2022 season,” Phillips said in a statement released by the team Friday. “I appreciate the support of the McCaskey family and to be involved in overseeing this amazing growth of the Chicago Bears through the years, is a dream come true.
“Every day has been a true pleasure and being surrounded by so many talented and wonderful people has made my job richly rewarding on many levels. I will always bleed blue and orange and forever be proud to be a part of the Chicago Bears family.”
The Bears are 177-192 under Phillips‘ leadership, making it to Super Bowl 41 in 2007, where the Bears lost to the Indianapolis Colts. They have appeared in two NFC Championship games and won five division titles.
Phillips become the first person to hold the president position outside of the Halas-McCaskey family when he took over in 1999. He led numerous projects, including the 2003 Soldier Field renovations, the relocation of staff members from Soldier Field to downtown office space in 2018 and oversaw renovation projects of Halas Hall in 2012 and 2019.
Phillips joined the Bears staff in 1983 as the team’s controller, a position he held for four years. He served as the Director of Finance from 1987 to 1993 and then served as Vice President of Operations until his promotion in 1999.
“It’s difficult to put into words how much Ted has meant to the Bears and our family,” Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey said in a statement. “The faith that Virginia and Ed McCaskey placed in him by naming him President and CEO of the Bears has been rewarded many times over. He’s the best boss I ever had, and when I became his boss, he handled it graciously, as he has so many other situations. He is held in high regard by his peers around the league, and deservedly so. We are lucky to have had him here as long as we did.”
“He started out with us as a financial expert,” Bears owner Virginia Halas McCaskey added. “Anything that he was ever asked to take care of, he came through and did it very well. We’ve been very blessed to have him.”