CLEVELAND - The Indians announced officially today that team President Mark Shapiro is leaving the organization to join the Toronto Blue Jays.
Shapiro will become the Blue Jays and Rogers Centre President and CEO after the Indians 2015 season.
The Indians released a statement from Shapiro this morning.
"Through my twenty four years as part of the Cleveland Indians, I have developed a deep emotional and civic attachment to the Indians organization and the Cleveland community. The root of those ties is in the personal relationships that my family and I have built. While weighing those bonds carefully and seriously, I feel the unique and compelling nature of the Blue Jays President/CEO position warranted my consideration. This position represents a unique opportunity for me and one that I felt was the right new challenge to undertake. With mixed emotions, I will assume the Toronto Blue Jays CEO position upon the conclusion of the 2015 season. As the Indians organization moves forward, I am confident the current leadership represents a strong foundation to field a championship caliber team moving forward. The relationships we have enjoyed here will be lifelong bonds and will ensure that I will always be a fan of the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Indians organization."
The team also released a statement from Paul Dolan.
"Given the person that Mark is, the significant leadership and values that he has brought to the organization and with everything he has helped us accomplish, it will be extremely difficult to see him leave. However, I hope that this new challenge brings happiness and fulfillment for Mark and his family. As we move forward, I will not be seeking an external replacement for Mark and will continue to rely on the existing strong leadership group to guide us forward. Mark and I are confident that moving forward through this transition, we have a very strong foundation in place to build championship level success on and off the field."
Shapiro will replace Paul Beeston in Toronto, who is retiring. The Indians President took over the position five years ago, and was the GM for the club for nine years prior to that.