LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As the Braves move toward a new era that will further broaden their business opportunities beyond the baseball diamond, they will provide John Schuerholz with a new title and the opportunity to remain an integral part of the organization without feeling the need to be part of the daily grind.
Schuerholz will hold some of the same responsibilities that he's had while spending the past eight seasons as team president, but he will now do so at his own pace as the team's vice chairman, the club announced on Thursday morning. The club also provided title changes for two of its executive vice presidents -- Mike Plant, who will now be president of development, and Derek Schiller, who will be president of business.
"This has become a very big organization and I'm not sure I know anybody who could span over all of the different pieces," Braves chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk said. "That's sort of where it became apparent that we've just evolved to a point where we need subject-specific presidents who professionally can do the work in that area."
While Schuerholz will now be able to separate himself from daily responsibilities, Schiller and Plant will essentially continue to handle the same roles, while working with more prominent titles.
Schuerholz has enjoyed the opportunity to spend the past couple of seasons working alongside Plant and Schiller as they have engineered the club's efforts to move from Turner Field to SunTrust Park, as well as the construction of The Battery Atlanta, a 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use development that will adjoin the new stadium when it opens before the start of the 2017 season.
But as the 75-year-old Schuerholz prepares to enter his 51st season in Major League Baseball, he will have the chance to occasionally separate himself and be of assistance to Plant, Schiller, president of baseball operations John Hart and general manager John Coppolella.
Schuerholz will focus most of his efforts toward baseball operations, the department that he headed while serving as the GM of the Royals (1982-90) and the Braves (1991-2007). But he will also continue to lead the club's search for a new Spring Training home.
Since joining the Braves in 2003, Plant has overseen business operations and helped in efforts to build the stadiums home to the organization's Class A Rome and Double-A Mississippi affiliates. But his crowning achievement is the organization's agreement with Cobb County to construct SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta, which will include retail, dining, lodging and residential entities benefiting the Braves financially and ultimately helping McGuirk realize his goal of possessing one of the Majors' top 10 payrolls.
The Braves will own 50-85 percent of every entity that exists within The Battery Atlanta.
Schiller has worked diligently to determine which entities will exist within The Battery. The 45-year-old Vanderbilt University graduate will continue to oversee the club's sales, marketing and broadcasting initiatives. He is credited with enriching the fan experience with options such as digital ticketing and variable and dynamic ticket pricing.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.