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Who is Caroline O’Connor?

The recently promoted president of business operations is set to enter her sixth season with the Miami Marlins in a new role.

The Miami Marlins promoted Caroline O’Connor to the president of business operations, the team announced on Monday. The move comes almost two years to the day the team named Kim Ng the first-ever female GM in Major League Baseball.

As the title infers, O’Connor will be tasked with managing the club’s business operations, which include sales, marketing, human resources, finance, legal, communications, community outreach, security, and ballpark facilities.

“We have made large strides in growing our fan base, expanding our business partnerships, and creating relationships with our community leaders, and we have a great deal of opportunity in front of us,” O’Connor said. “I look forward to working with the team to continue to build on that success and drive further engagement with Marlins baseball while establishing loanDepot park as a top entertainment destination in South Florida.”

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The Marlins become the second professional sports team to have women operating the entirety of a team’s day-to-day business, with Ng and O’Connor overseeing the on- and off-field operations, respectively. (Angel City FC was the first when it named Julie Uhrman as president and promoted Angela Hucles to GM in August). However, O’Connor’s hire marks a first in men’s pro sports, as the Marlins continue adding to their history of diverse hires.

“Her leadership will continue to guide the Marlins organization toward our goal of sustained success while strategizing additional new ventures to grow our business and enhance our brand recognition,” owner Bruce Sherman said.

O’Connor started as Miami’s senior vice president and chief of staff before becoming chief operating officer in 2019. During that time, then-CEO Derek Jeter praised her work ethic: “You talk about someone who puts in the time and effort. The value she’s brought to us — I don’t know if I can measure it.”

Background
  • Grew up in Freehold Township, New Jersey.
  • Played softball, basketball, and tennis up through high school.
  • Majored in computer science at Rutgers before landing a job at IBM.
  • After her time at UBS, received her MBA from New York University.
Resume
  • Senior IT specialist at IBM (2000-06)
  • Director at UBS Investment Bank (2006-12)
  • Managing director at Morgan Stanley (2012-17)
  • Chief operating officer at Marlins (2017-2022)
  • Named an Influential Businesswoman by the South Florida Business Journal (2021)

Clearly, O’Connor’s experience varies through several different roles and companies, but she explained how “change” and “adaptability” are two of her most valued skills. To help illustrate her impact, consider the following: The Marlins’ attendance increased 12% in 2022 compared to 2019 (the last year season-long open seating was offered) with O’Connor as the team’s COO, according to MLB. She’s also helped LoanDepot Park — home of the Marlins — gain more exposure during her tenure, helping the venue earn host status for the World Baseball Classic in March 2023 and the Caribbean Series in 2024.

“I think she likes being behind the scenes, but I don’t know how long we can hide her,” Jeter said of O’Connor in 2019.

Although Jeter — who became baseball’s first Black CEO in 2017 — isn’t with the organization anymore, he’s somewhere out there smiling — and for good reason. The Marlins are ahead of their class when it comes to diversification in the workplace, and the promotion of O’Connor speaks to that.

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