Thursday, March 29, 2007

The King without an heir

Jennifer Swindal filed for divorce on on Tuesday after 23 years of marriage. While this may seem random, we need to identify some other people this will affect.

First and foremost, her children.

Second, her husband, Steve.

That's Steve Swindal. Recognize the name? How about Jennifer Swindal's maiden name -- Jennifer Steinbrenner? Or her father, GEORGE Steinbrenner?

Yes, THAT George Steinbrenner. Jennifer is the daughter of The Boss, principal owner of the NY Yankees and head of the Yankees business conglomerate. In 2005, The Boss tapped Swindal as his successor. Swindal has been heavily involved in the Yankees' baseball and business operations, including the crucial contract negotiations with Brian Cashman in the past offseason that restructured Cashman's position on the Yankee organizational chart and granted him vastly more power to make personnel decisions.

The succession plan has been effectively scrapped. Steinbrenner has made no secret of his determination to continue to have the Yankees as a family business (his sons both hold executive positions within the Yankee corporate structure). The divorce means Swindal is no longer family. Business abhors a vacuum.

Stay tuned.

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