Considered one of the most progressive and talented baseball executives in the game today, Billy Beane has molded the Athletics into one of baseball's most respected teams since assuming the general manager's duties shortly following the 1997 season. As architect of a team that has won back-to-back American League West crowns the past two seasons, Beane has been recognized with several industry awards recently.
Last year, he was named Baseball America's Major League Executive of the Year. That award came on the heels of Beane being selected The Sporting News Executive of the Year for a second time in his career in 2012.
He also earned MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Award as the 2012 MLB Executive of the Year and the 2012 Legacy Awards' Rube Foster Award as AL Executive of the Year (presented by the Negro League Baseball Museum).
Under his watch, the A's have compiled a 1396-1194 (.539) record over the last 16 seasons, which is the third-best record in the American League and fifth best in all of baseball during that time frame. The A's have six American League West titles (2000; 2002-03; 2006; 2012-13) and secured one AL Wild Card spot (2001) during that span. His teams have posted 90 or more wins in eight of the last 14 years. The A's seven postseason appearances since the 2000 season are tied for fourth most among all Major League teams, trailing only New York-AL (12), St. Louis (10) and Atlanta (9).
In addition, Oakland A's players have garnered numerous individual accolades during his tenure as general manager. Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada earned American League Most Valuable Player awards in 2000 and 2002, respectively. Barry Zito was named the American League's Cy Young Award winner in 2002 while Bobby Crosby (2004), Huston Street (2005) and Andrew Bailey (2009) have all won AL Rookie of the Year honors.
Beane continually remolds a team that has posted one of the majors' best records over the last past decade. Over the years, his ability to acquire pivotal players through trades has proved instrumental in keying several playoff runs.
During the past few years, Beane has also re-stocked the A's minor league system with elite prospects which will enable the team to sustain winning teams well into the next decade. Remarkably, Beane and Assistant GM David Forst have acquired 32 highly coveted young players by trading essentially 13 Major League players (Nick Swisher, Rich Harden, Joe Blanton, Chad Gaudin, Matt Holliday, Orlando Cabrera, Trevor Cahill, Craig Breslow, Gio Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey, Ryan Sweeney, Dan Haren and Mark Kotsay) since the end of the 2007 season. Among the bright young stars he has acquired include pitchers Ryan Cook, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, and hitters Josh Reddick, Josh Donaldson and Derek Norris.
Beane's executive talents and the organization's baseball philosophy were the subject of Michael Lewis' best-selling book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, which opened the eyes of many of the top sports executives and business CEOs in the nation. The book has since been made into a full-length motion picture featuring Brad Pitt in the starring role, which premiered in 2011.
As a result, Beane remains in great demand on the national speaking circuit, where he regularly addresses top companies on his management approach of identifying and using undervalued assets to create and sustain a competitive edge. He also sits on the board of directors of several companies, including Easton-Bell Sports, ProTrade and NetSuite, Inc.
Beane was previously named The Sporting News' Executive of the Year in 1999 and earned Major League Baseball's Executive of the Year honors from Baseball America magazine following the 2002 season. In November of 2001, Beane was named one of Street & Smith's Sport Business Journal's 40 Under 40 list, honoring the nation's top 40 sports executives under the age of 40.
Further demonstrating his eclectic tastes and unique interests, Beane was invited to speak at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. management retreat in Pebble Beach, Calif. in 2006, an event that focused on issues such as volunteerism, technology and politics, and featured leaders and luminaries from around the world. Among the VIP who attended were British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres, former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Harvard President Lawrence Summer and U2 lead singer Bono.
In 2008, Beane also collaborated with Gingrich and Sen. John Kerry in co-authoring an article in the New York Times offering possible remedies for the U.S. health care crisis.
In addition, he was honored by PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards with the Game Changer Award in 2011, an accolade given to a cultural trendsetter who, through the development of new technologies, applications, business models, and industries, has transformed the business of Sports Media and Sports Media Marketing.
Beane joined the A's front office staff in 1990 as the club's major league advance scout. In 1993, former A's President and General Manager Sandy Alderson promoted him to the assistant general manager's position when Walt Jocketty left the organization to accept the assistant general manager's job in Colorado. Alderson handed over his general manager's duties to Beane on Oct. 17, 1997.
A first round draft pick (23rd overall) of the New York Mets in the 1980 June Free Agent Draft, Beane played six major league seasons as an infielder, outfielder and catcher for the Mets, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers and Oakland A's. His final season in uniform was 1989 when he was a utility player on the A's World Championship team. Beane retired as an active player in the spring of 1990.
A native of San Diego, Calif., Beane attended Mt. Carmel High School and UC San Diego, where he studied economics. Billy and his wife, Tara, reside in Danville, Calif. with their twins, Brayden and Tinsley. His daughter, Casey, is a recent graduate of Kenyon (Ohio) College.