The Pittsburgh Pirates put out two press releases this morning, announcing the hiring of Travis Williams as the new team president, as well as one covering the firing of Neal Huntington, which we heard earlier this morning. They also announced that Kevan Graves, who has been serving as an assistant GM, will serve as the Interim GM until the vacancy is filled.
The Pirates will hold a press conference this afternoon between 1:30-2:00 PM so we will have more on this later.
Williams press release:
The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced that Travis Williams has been named President of the organization. Williams, who will officially begin his duties on November 1, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Williams brings with him more than a decade of sports executive leadership experience in Pittsburgh, having spent 11 years as an integral part of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ executive team. While with the Penguins, Williams served as the Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the day-to-day business and arena operations.
“Travis’ leadership abilities, experience and passion for Pittsburgh sports makes him the ideal choice for this position,” said Bob Nutting, Pirates Chairman of the Board. “Travis was an integral part of the Penguins leadership team over the past decade of success. He has a keen understanding of Pittsburgh and appreciates how important our fans are. He will drive a culture of success within our organization.”
Williams returns to Pittsburgh from his most recent position as the President of Business Operations for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, a position he held since November of 2018. During his time in New York, Williams helped the Islanders accomplish a lot in a short period of time, including the building of an entire business operations staff, doubling the season ticket base and breaking ground on a new arena.
“This is a homecoming for me, both personally and professionally. It is a tremendous opportunity to come back to a city and a team that I love. I am excited about working with Bob and the rest of the Pirates family to return this franchise to a winning tradition,” Williams said. “Today, we turn the page and start writing a new chapter in the history of the Pirates.
“We are committed to a refresh of our entire operations. The first step in this process is to immediately begin the search for new leadership of our baseball operations,” Williams added. “Within our business operations, we will focus on enhancing our relationships with the fans, the ballpark experience and our commitment to the Pittsburgh community.”
During his tenure with the Penguins, the team sold out over 550 home games and consistently ranked among the top NHL teams in gate receipts, sponsorship revenues, television ratings and social media statistics. In addition, Williams oversaw the development of PPG Paint Arena as well as the construction of UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, the Penguins official practice facility in Cranberry Township, Pa.