Danny Wirtz talks about the culture, change and leadership of the Rebuilding Blackhawks organization

During the upheaval of the Blackhawks organization during the pandemic following the (at the time) surprising departure of John McDonough, Danny Wirtz assumed the role of CEO. He is the fourth member of the Wirtz family to be the club’s top voice, following his father, Rocky, in the role.

He recently sat down with Salvi Media as part of their “CEO Series” to discuss his role as CEO, the Blackhawks organization, and his other roles in the Chicago community.

The video doesn’t break new ground when it comes to new information about Wirtz or the Blackhawks. When we hear him talk about the big decisions that filter all the way to the top (read: him), there are a few dozen questions that probably could have followed, but the video bounces back to ask how the food and beverage selections drinks are important to the fan experience. .

However, about 2:30 into the video, the question “What do you look for when hiring?” is requested. Wirtz said the first trait he looks for is humility.

“We have a very low ego culture,” he said.

Cough John McDonough Say what?

Look, the Blackhawks are going through absolutely one of the most painful and introspective seasons of reorganization (not 82 games, but a period of time) in sports that I can remember. Since Danny took over from his father, he has been tasked with effectively burning down all business activity and starting over, and some of the decisions made by the organization have come under a lot of scrutiny (see: The departure from Edzo).

So when he goes out of his way to say he’s looking to develop a ‘low ego culture’ in the Blackhawks organization, I think we all understand that’s a seismic shift from the culture change of his father when he took the first place in the organization.

Danny stresses the importance of culture in this mix of other interviews in the series, answering an important question: what is the hardest lesson these CEOs have learned in their respective careers?

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