McKenzie will fulfill many of the duties handled by iconic owner Al Davis until his Oct. 8 death at age 82. One of McKenzie's first orders of business likely will be sitting down with coach Hue Jackson, who handled personnel decisions in recent months. Jackson, who just completed his first season as head coach after being elevated from offensive coordinator, pulled off the October trade for quarterback Carson Palmer after starter Jason Campbell broke his collarbone.
The 47-year-old McKenzie, who has spent the past 18 season in Green Bay's personnel department, will take over his new job with the Raiders immediately, a person with knowledge of the hiring told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because those details weren't formally announced. That means McKenzie will leave the defending Super Bowl champion Packers (15-1) before they open defense of their title. The NFC's No. 1 seed is off this weekend with a first-round playoff bye.
"I would like to thank Reggie McKenzie for all that he has done for the Green Bay Packers over the last 18 years," Packers GM Ted Thompson said Friday in a statement. "Reggie is a tremendous talent, but more importantly, he is a good friend and great family man. His contributions to our organization are numerous, and he is ready for the opportunity to be a general manager in the National Football League."
Oakland has gone without someone in a true GM role since Davis' longtime senior assistant, Bruce Allen, departed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2003 season. Allen had been a top personnel executive for Davis from 1996-2003. Davis' son, Mark, is now making many top decisions.
The Raiders opted to reorganize their football operations department following Davis' death. Davis made all football-related decisions, from hiring coaches and other staff to having final say on draft picks and free agency.
Davis loved to bring back former Raiders to the silver and black, and McKenzie fits the bill. He played linebacker for the Raiders from 1985-88 and joined the Packers as a pro personnel assistant in 1994. He was named director of football operations on May 27, 2008, and also previously worked in the role of director of pro personnel.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.