Garfinkel named Padres president
New executive will oversee all non-baseball operations
SAN DIEGO -- Tom Garfinkel, who was introduced Wednesday as the Padres president and chief operating officer, said he has no intentions of coming in and changing the blue color scheme of the team.
"I'm excited about blue," Garfinkel said, pointing to his tie, while also noting that he's gotten rid of everything Sedona red in his closet, the color his previous employer -- the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Garfinkel was introduced during a news conference at PETCO Park by his friend, Jeff Moorad, the Padres' new vice chairman and CEO. The two worked together in Arizona and it had been rumored that Garfinkel would join Moorad in Arizona.
On Wednesday, four days after Garfinkel resigned his post in Arizona, he accepted the job in San Diego, where he will oversee all non-baseball operations. Garfinkel replaces Dick Freeman, who retired on March 31.
Garfinkel will report directly to Moorad.
"I am extremely pleased that Tom is in San Diego and joining our team," Moorad said. "He has produced positive results throughout his career, and I'm certain it will continue with the Padres. This is a very significant hire for the club and one that will strengthen our entire organization.
"I'm proud to have him here. ... He's a great leader and a person with great integrity."
While with the D-backs, Garfinkel oversaw everything from marketing, branding, broadcasting, communications, game operations, ticket sales, corporate partnerships, community affairs, strategic planning and information technology.
Prior to his transition to working in baseball, Garfinkel worked for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, where he served as executive vice president.
In the five years he was at Ganassi Racing, Garfinkel negotiated more than $500 million in sponsorship and driver contracts that resulted in a 280 percent increase of annual company revenue.
The team also won two championships and grew to include three NASCAR Nextel Cup teams, one Busch Series team, two IndyCar teams and one Grand-Am team.
With the D-backs, Garfinkel was responsible for helping to grow the revenue in the organization 25 percent, which resulted in the highest controllable revenues in club history in 2008.
"In terms of the vision, I want to build a consistent, high-performing team on the field each year, balancing the long term and short term to make sure we compete year in and year out is one of the key things moving forward," Garfinkel said.
A primary component of his success in Arizona focuses on the fan experience, which is something he stressed as a key element during his press conference Wednesday.
"When you look at the fan experience from end to end ... whether that's calling to buy tickets, buying concessions, or using the restroom at PETCO Park or going through the parking lot ... we want to make sure we're paying attention to every detail. We want to try and make things better every day," Garfinkel said.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.