Chris Giles’s resume was rife with all the qualifications and qualities the Oakland Athletics needed in a Chief Operating Officer. While with the San Francisco 49ers, Giles was instrumental in the Levi’s Stadium opening. He’s a Clovis native, a UC Berkeley graduate and an avid A’s fan — passionate about the state of an enigmatic fan base.
The A’s knighted Giles as COO in 2017 to help re-establish and grow a waning fan base. He connected immediately with them, engaging with fans on social media and opening up a more fan-friendly and revolutionary ticketing plan with A’s Access.
Progress Giles made seemed the initial steps toward the organization’s grandest goal: opening the new ballpark at Howard Terminal. It was surprising, then, when the A’s announced that Giles would resign his post, effective Monday, to launch his own venture, Greenfield Sports Group.
Oakland A’s COO Chris Giles resigned this morning. pic.twitter.com/vFCehVe8Ze
— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) January 6, 2020
“We thank Chris for his contributions to the A’s and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” A’s President Dave Kaval said in a statement.
Though only with the team for three seasons, Oakland A’s fans made clear Giles made a mark on the Coliseum experience. Year-over-year, the A’s doubled their membership numbers.
“Last year, under the traditional model, we were just around 9,000, and we’re up over 18,000 members this year,” Giles told the Mercury News in July.
Such a bummer for us @Athletics fans. He brought so much enthusiasm to all things A’s. @chrisgiles01 also gave me the Diamond Level fan experience of a lifetime for which I’ll always be grateful. Good luck in your future endeavors! #toughshoestofill
— AthleticsGirl (@AthleticsGirl) January 6, 2020
Sad to see him go. Loved what his team did to listen to fans and improve the experience each year. Wish him the best in his new endeavors.
— turtlebud (@turtlebud) January 6, 2020
Giles’s experience with the 49ers looked to be another necessary cog in the A’s potential new ballpark transition, but his departure certainly sets back a few steps the A’s painstaking forward progress toward that goal.
Last month, the Alameda County Supervisors voted unanimously to sell their half of the the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum land to the Athletics for $85 million — the land is seen as a crucial revenue stream to fund the new park.
— Dave Kaval (@DaveKaval) December 23, 2019
Yes, news of Giles’ departure seems sudden and strangely timed. When Giles officially informed the A’s of his imminent departure is embargoed information. Greenfield Sports Group is not filed as an LLC or corporation in the state of California, yet.