Position: Executive Vice President and General Manager
Company: Boston Red Sox
Program: Masters of Science
Major: Sport Management
Two years ago, Red Sox General Manager and Isenberg Sport Management graduate Ben Cherington ’97 M.S. defied extremely long odds with strategic moves that helped bring the team from the cellar to a World Series championship. Now, following an injury-plagued season, he is positioning the team through adept acquisitions and negotiations for a similar ascent.
With characteristic modesty, Ben praises his graduate program at Isenberg’s Mark H. McCormack’s Department of Sport Management rather than his own substantial accomplishments. Ben has excelled for 16-years in the majors—15 with the Red Sox and one with the Cleveland Indians. Before becoming Red Sox Executive Vice President and General Manager in October of 2011, he was Assistant GM under Theo Epstein and head of the Red Sox farm system.
Ben’s graduate program, he emphasizes, was intellectually challenging and team oriented. “It imparted a sense of group purpose and commitment that is critical to organizations like the Red Sox,” he says. “You were grateful to be in a program that was ‘bigger than yourself’—a program that was going places.” Cherington also credits an exceptional network of fellow alumni who have been assets to his career. (He regularly chats with two Major League general managers, Neal Huntington of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chris Antonetti of the Cleveland Indians—both of whom are McCormack graduates.)
For Cherington, courses with McCormack professors Lisa Pike Masteralexis and Todd Crosset were “intellectual and mind bending.” Both professors handled disagreements in “exactly the right way,” which yielded personal and intellectual growth. “Lisa taught me things I hadn’t thought about through the prism of risk management,” he observed. “Todd showed me how people relate to each other.” That, he added, has proved critical in my work as GM because “my job is getting the most out of people.”