The contract has been signed and a new era is underway. The Vikings have formally announced Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their next general manager.
Adofo-Mensah, 40, replaces Rick Spielman as the leader of the Vikings' football operations. He will have the final say on all roster moves and so much more. Adofo-Mensah is believed to be the first person to rise through the NFL analytics ranks to become a GM.
"I am extremely thankful to the Wilf family and the Vikings organization for giving me the opportunity to lead our football operations and join this respected franchise," said Adofo-Mensah in a statement. "There is so much to appreciate about this organization — an existing nucleus of talent on the roster, top-notch facilities, passionate fans and smart people throughout the building who are committed to winning. I look forward to partnering with our next head coach and our entire football operations staff to begin our work of bringing a Super Bowl to Vikings fans."
Adofo-Mensah has degrees in economics from Princeton and Stanford. The Cherry Hill, N.J. native was a commodities trader and portfolio manager on Wall Street before entering the NFL in the 49ers' research and development department. After seven years in San Francisco, he spent the past two seasons as the Browns' VP of football operations.
"We are thrilled to welcome Kwesi to the Minnesota Vikings," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "His unique background, variety of strong football experiences, vision for success and leadership presence immediately stood out to us. Kwesi is naturally committed and driven to building the best teams through consensus building and the pursuit of information. We believe he will immediately make us better as a team and organization."
"Kwesi has a clear philosophy on building a complementary football team," said Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf. "His intelligence, progressive mindset and passion for the game, along with his ability to make thoughtful and intentional decisions, provide a tremendous foundation as he leads our football operations."
Adofo-Mensah is an extremely smart person with a wide breadth of experience. After running the 49ers' analytics team, he went to Cleveland and became more involved in the entire day-to-day operations of the Browns' front office, proving input on all of GM Andrew Berry's decisions. The track record of his team's draft picks during his time in both Cleveland and San Francisco is impressive, and he made a big impression on many people around him during his nine years that led to this point.
“We are beyond excited that Kwesi has been named General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings," Berry said in a statement. "Kwesi’s infectious energy, critical thinking skills, collaborative spirit and expertise across the football operations/player personnel spectrum made a lasting footprint here in a short period of time. These same characteristics will make him an exceptional leader, problem-solver and roster architect for the Vikings. While we are sad to see him go, we are proud of the person and executive that Kwesi is. We wish him and his fiancé, Chelsea, nothing but the best moving forward."
"I think the world of him," said 49ers GM John Lynch. "I think the Vikings — I don’t think, I know — they made a tremendous hire. How do I know that? Well, I worked with the guy, and I just got to see firsthand the breadth of all that he brings to the table."
Adofo-Mensah will be introduced as the Vikings' GM in a press conference on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. central time.
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