Fire also announced it hired John Urban as chief operating officer. It has been without a president since Julian Posada left in 2012. Atul Khosla had served as chief
operating officer from 2011 until his departure last summer to the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he is the chief corporate development and brand officer.
Chicago Fire presidents:
Robert Sanderman, 1997–2000
Peter Wilt, 2001–2005
John Guppy, 2005–2008
Javier Leon (interim), 2008
Dave Greeley, 2008–2010
Javier Leon (interim) 2010
Julian Posada, 2010–2012
Nelson Rodriguez, 2018
Rodriguez, one of MLS's senior executives during its growth years, hired Veljko Paunovic in 2015 and oversaw the rebuilding of the Fire with the signings of World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, Hungarian international Nemanja Nikolic and U.S. midfielder Dax McCarty in 2017.
Urban most recently work for the attractions division at Legends (a partnership of the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys).
Chicago Fire owner and chairman Andrew Hauptman: "After a thorough review of our operations and completing a comprehensive search process, we believe Nelson and John are the perfect duo to lead our club. From the moment I met Nelson, I knew he was the right leader for the club. Over the past several years, he has created an exceptional foundation and culture for a top-tier club, on and off the field. I am delighted that he is taking on this expanded role, and am equally thrilled that John is joining as our chief operating officer."