In 36 years, Denny Thum worked for only one organization, the Kansas City Chiefs. In 1974 he graduated from KC-based Rockhurst College and took a job as an accountant with the team. Rising through the franchise ranks, Thum was named Chief Operating Officer in May 2006, interim team president in December 2008 and team president in May 2009.
(Clockwise from left: Denny Thum, Clark Hunt, Scott Pioli)
Then, two weeks ago, after the club’s biggest win in years in a gleaming, newly-renovated Arrowhead Stadium, Thum abruptly, and quietly, resigned.
Former longtime Chiefs beat writer Rick Gosselin wrote a most appropriate obit of Thum’s decorated tenure with the team in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS:
The Kansas City Chiefs dumped club president Denny Thum unceremoniously this month after a 36-year stay with the team. I covered the Chiefs from 1977-89, and Thum taught me the financial side of the NFL. He was the best contract negotiator I’ve ever seen. He also was a loyal employee to Hall of Fame owner Lamar Hunt through good times and bad.
But Thum’s problem was he was inherited by a new owner (Clark Hunt), new general manager (Scott Pioli) and new chief operating officer (Mark Donovan). So the new wave ushered him to the door. Thum deserved better treatment.
The Chiefs have no idea right now how much they are going to miss his expertise in so many areas. Thum won’t be out of work long.
The timing of Thum’s departure, though strange on the surface, actually makes sense once you dig into the details of the Chiefs’ office politics. Read more…