McDonough has been an integral part of Chicago sports for four decades and joined the team in 2007, ushering in a new period of relevance to the club. The title of CEO was added to his duties in 2011.
“As difficult as it is, we think it was the right decision for the future of the organization and its fans,” President Rocky Wirtz said in a statement.
Under McDonough, the Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015, and McDonough led the returns of Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita as team ambassadors.
Forbes called McDonough’s work with the team “the greatest turnaround ever in the sport.”
Wirtz says the club will immediately begin looking for a new executive.
“While we can reassure our fans, there will be hockey again, no one knows what it will look like,” said Wirtz. “What we do know is that it will take a new mindset to successfully transition the organization and win both on and off the ice. “
Danny Wirtz will be the interim team chair.
Before joining the Blackhawks, McDonough spent 25 years with the Chicago Cubs.