The Big Ten officially named Tony Petitti as the conference’s seventh commissioner on Wednesday.
The former television and Major League Baseball executive will begin his tenure on May 15.
Petitti replaces Kevin Warren, who left in January to become the president and CEO of the Chicago Bears.
Petitti arrives as two new members — UCLA and Southern California — are set to join the Big Ten in 2024, swelling the league’s ranks to 16 schools.
“At this important and transformational time in collegiate athletics, it is truly my great honor to be chosen by the Council of Presidents and Chancellors as the commissioner of the Big Ten Conference,” Petitti said.
“I am energized to work alongside the best athletics directors, coaches, conference staff and board in the country as — together — we continue to elevate the academic and athletic experiences and resources for our 14, soon-to-be 16, world-class universities with nearly 10,000 incredible student-athletes. Thank you to the extraordinary people and places that have led me to this next challenge in my career. I am ready to get to work for the Big Ten Conference community.”
Petitti is the former executive vice president of CBS Sports and head of MLB Network, which launched in 2009. He became the chief operating officer of Major League Baseball in January 2015, replacing Rob Manfred when he became commissioner of MLB.
Petitti was named the president of sports and entertainment at Activision Blizzard, Inc. in August 2020. He stepped down from Activision in July 2021.
“We are at a time in collegiate athletics that we need leaders with innovative forethought, the highest principles, and a spirit of fairness and partnership,” said Illinois chancellor Robert Jones, a member of the search committee. “Tony brings a dynamic style of leadership and impeccable integrity to the conference. The entire Council of Presidents and Chancellors is thrilled to have him serve as the seventh commissioner in Big Ten Conference history.”
–Field Level Media