Bears president/CEO Phillips to retire after season

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Longtime Chicago Bears team president and chief executive officer Ted Phillips has announced he will retire from his role after this season.

Chicago Bears president, CEO Ted Phillips to retire after 40 seasons 12:58 PM ET Courtney CroninESPN Staff Writer Close Covered the 49ers, Raiders and Warriors for the San Jose Mercury News. She joined ESPN in 2017. LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- After 40 seasons with the Chicago Bears , team president and chief executive officer Ted Phillips has announced he will retire from his role at the conclusion of the 2022 season. "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. 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," said Phillips in a statement released by the team. "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." Editor's Picks GM hopes Bears, Smith can one day reach deal 20h Courtney Cronin The Bears have already begun searching for Phillips' successor and will announce his replacement in the coming months. Phillips was named the organization's president and CEO on February 10, 1999. He is only the fourth person to serve as president in the organization's 102-year existence and is the first member outside of the Halas-McCaskey family to hold that role. Phillips has played an instrumental role in the Bears expected move to Arlington Heights, Ill. The team is in escrow for the former Arlington Racetrack site, which they signed a $197.2 million purchase agreement last year. In January, Phillips said he anticipated closing on the land by early 2023. "Our focus for long-term development is exclusively on that property at Arlington Park," Phillips said in January. "It's difficult to put into words how much Ted has meant to the Bears and our family. 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," said Bears chairman George H. McCaskey. "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." Phillips served as the Bears vice president of operations for six seasons starting in 1993 and was previously the team's director of finance from 1987-93. Phillips joined the Bears staff on September 28, 1983 as the team's Controller, a position he held for four years. "He started out with us as a financial expert. 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," said Bears owner Virginia Halas McCaskey.