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Ted Phillips was named President and Chief Executive Officer on February 10, 1999. He is the fourth person to serve as president in the organization's storied 100-year history following Michael McCaskey, George "Mugs" Halas, Jr., and George S. Halas.
Since taking on the top leadership role, Phillips has insisted on attention to detail and smooth execution at every level of the Bears operation. He has solidified the long-term stability of the Club, while staying keenly focused on bringing a 10th championship to the NFL's premier franchise.
Phillips has revitalized both the business and football operations by hiring high character, intelligent and driven individuals who share common goals and philosophies on how to build a consistent winner.
Drawing from more than 35 years of experience with the Chicago Bears, Phillips has shown effective leadership skills by empowering his executive staff to create an environment of collective responsibility in running the day-to-day operations of the club. Phillips is involved in all critical decisions of the Bears and continues to strive to make all aspects of the Bears organization the best in the NFL. Always insisting on a team-first attitude, Phillips has surrounded himself with individuals who fit the organization's character, culture and values. That team dynamic was crucial in the Bears return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 21 years following the 2006 campaign.
Under Phillips' direction, the Bears completely transformed the spaces the organization operates out of both in the city of Chicago and at Halas Hall in Lake Forest. The Bears relocated staff members based out of Soldier Field to a new downtown office space in 2018. The new office space, located at 123 North Wacker Drive, allows Bears staff members to work in the heart of the city, where they are closer to partners and will have workspace that will allow for stronger collaboration and future growth.
In 2012, Phillips oversaw a Halas Hall renovation project that added over 30,000 square feet to the team's headquarters, which opened in 1997. The renovations included additions to the weight and training rooms, an upgraded locker room, additional meeting spaces and offices, and a new event center which features a broadcast studio and conference space.
Then from 2017-19, Phillips oversaw an additional renovation and expansion to Halas Hall, which was completed in August 2019. The expansion is highlighted by a sparkling 162,500-square-foot football operations addition to the already-existing 143,000-square foot facility and a 30,600-square-foot remodeling project on the northeast side of the building. The project, which broke ground in January 2018, has completely transformed the look and feel of the entire facility. Position meeting rooms and the draft room doubled in size, while coaches' offices increased by 50 percent, allowing for improved collaboration. A 3,250-square-foot players' lounge was created, along with an a 1,700-square-foot player locker room that now includes a barbershop. The coaches/scouts locker room was also expanded and now includes a sauna and steam room. The weight room increased in size by 2,000 square feet, while the equipment room, recovery space and nutrition/fuel station doubled in size. A 13,000-square-foot indoor turf space was also added, among many other amenities. Additionally, two new football fields were built to the east of the Walter Payton Center in 2018. The new fields allow the Bears to spread out the field use over four fields throughout the offseason and during in-season practices. That project also added a training slope, a storage facility and a small practice viewing suite, much like the existing viewing suite used at Halas Hall for corporate partners and other VIP guests.
Phillips' other highlights include creating and continuing a strong customer service mentality throughout the organization, returning the Bears training camp to Illinois and presiding over five division championships (2001, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2018) after a decade-long drought.
During the 2015 offseason, Phillips hired Ryan Pace as the sixth general manager in franchise history, giving new direction to the Bears football operations. On January 1st, 2018, Phillips announced a three-year contract extension for Pace, keeping him with the club through the 2021 season. He has also restructured the front office, promoting four key executives to the level of Senior Vice-President with direct reporting to Phillips. Additional departmental emphasis was also placed on expanding various customer service initiatives along with placing a new emphasis on database management, marketing research and digital media efforts, in an effort to deliver added value to Bears fans, season ticketholders and business partners.
The Bears training camp returned to the State of Illinois from 2002-19, turning out in record numbers over the three-week training period on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. Additionally, for the first time in 2020, the Bears will utilize their newly-renovated facilities as training camp returns to Halas Hall.
Phillips' leadership was also key in negotiating a new home for the team at Soldier Field. Not only making the club more financially competitive, it provides the best fans in professional sports with a stadium complete with all the amenities they deserve. The Soldier Field game-day experience is second to none, and fans have been critical in creating a great home-field advantage for the team as the Bears continue to maintain their proud history and tradition on Chicago's magnificent lakefront.
Phillips served as the Bears Vice President of Operations for six seasons starting in 1993. Recognized for his many years of handling the Bears contract negotiations and team finances, Phillips currently serves on the NFL's CEC Executive Working Group, the NFL's CBA Player Benefits Plans Committee and is Chairman for the NFL's Employee Benefits Committee. Phillips also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Bears Care, the philanthropic arm of the Chicago Bears, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
Before becoming Vice President of Operations, Phillips served as the Director of Finance from 1987-93. Phillips joined the Bears staff on September 28, 1983, as the team's Controller, a position he held for four years.
Prior to joining the Bears, Phillips was employed as an auditor and tax accountant with the international accounting firm Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young), from 1979-83. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1979 with a degree in business and accounting. Phillips earned a master of marketing and management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University in 1989.
Phillips was born in Oneida, N.Y., grew up in Nashua, N.H., and he currently resides with his wife Ann in Libertyville, Ill. He has three sons, Matthew, Max and Frank.