Blues CEO McLoughlin chosen as Seahawks' new president

RENTON, Wash. -- Peter McLoughlin's new role as president of the Seattle Seahawks is strictly focused on the business side of the operation.

Football is clearly in the hands of Pete Carroll and John Schneider.

McLoughlin was introduced as the new president of the Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC and First and Goal Inc. on Thursday. He comes to the Seahawks after four years as CEO of the NHL's St. Louis Blues and replaces Tod Leiweke, who announced at the end of July that he was leaving as the head of Paul Allen's Vulcan Sports and Entertainment to become CEO and minority owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"There is so much positive here, and we're going to continue to work hard to improve things," McLoughlin said.

When Carroll and Schneider were brought on earlier this year, there were questions about the hierarchy of authority and whether the football duo reported to Leiweke, who served as the bridge between the football operations and Allen, the Seahawks' owner.

With McLoughlin coming aboard, it's clear that all football-related decisions are in the hands of Carroll and Schneider and go directly to Allen.

"There's been some conjecture on football reporting. Fact is, football reports into ownership. One of the cool things about Peter and his candidacy is he said to me, 'These football guys have forgotten more than I'll ever know.' He wasn't coming here to draw plays or draft players," Leiweke said. "... Football will continue to report into ownership, and Peter is going to do everything he can to support it. He'll have jurisdiction over budgets, annual budgets and those things, but this is a structure like most other NFL teams and really how it worked for us under my leadership."

Mike McCarthy, vice chairman of the Blues, has been named interim CEO while the team conducts a national search for McLoughlin's replacement.

McLoughlin's responsibilities will not be as far-reaching as Leiweke's were. When Leiweke was appointed to oversee all of Allen's sports ventures in 2007, he took on managing the operations of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers.

McLoughlin is strictly focused on the two franchises in Seattle and the organization that operates Qwest Field.

"We saw a lot of things in the recruiting process that reminded us of Tod in that recruiting process seven years ago," said Bert Kolde, vice chair of the Vulcan board of directors. "I think Tod has made a huge difference to the fan base ... and I think Peter can take that forward."

There are many similarities between Leiweke and McLoughlin, who have known each other for many years. Most obvious is a connection with the NHL, where McLoughlin is leaving and Leiweke is returning.

Before spending four years with the Blues and helping revitalize that franchise, McLoughlin worked 21 years in various positions at Anheuser-Busch. His final position with the beer giant was to be in charge of negotiating sponsorships that included Super Bowls, the Olympics and the World Cup.

"Peter is a bright, proven leader who believes as I do that the fans always come first and understands the importance of community," Allen said in a statement released by the team. "He is experienced in all aspects of the business side of sports."

Despite their past friendship, Leiweke insisted McLoughlin wasn't handed the opportunity to take over in Seattle and that he "earned the right to be here."

"I'm here to be a great fan of both teams, to work hard, serve the fans, give back to the community and to help John and Pete (Carroll) and the Sounders have the resources to put championships in the Seattle community," McLoughlin said. "I just couldn't be happier to be here."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.