In response to a Seattle Times story published Wednesday, the Mariners acknowledged that current CEO Kevin Mather had previously been the subject of two workplace complaints from female employees. The team said that it had "made amends" to the workers. Mather said he's learned from the mistakes.
Seattle Mariners CEO and President Kevin Mather apologized Wednesday for his past workplace conduct and said he has become a better co-worker and leader in recent years.
In response to a Seattle Times story published Wednesday, the team acknowledged for the first time that Mather had been the subject of two workplace complaints from female employees. The team said that as a result of investigation, the team imposed “appropriate discipline, management and sensitivity training, and other corrective actions.”
“We also made amends to the affected female employees,” Mariners owner and managing partner John Stanton said. The Times story reported that one of the women also had concerns about a second executive. Citing a person familiar with the matter, the story said the settlements paid to the two women totaled more than $500,000.
Mather said in a statement that he now realizes he sometimes came across as intimidating or even mean. He also said he “participated in banter and was at times overly familiar, in ways that I came to realize were inappropriate in the workplace.”
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“At the time, I didn’t recognize how my actions were affecting the people around me,” Mather said. “I am truly sorry for the people I hurt and how I came across.”
Before publication of The Times’ story, the Mariners had refused to discuss details about the Mather accusations and would not confirm that the complaints had even been made when he had the job as executive vice president. The team released its detailed statement hours after the story was published.
The story also detailed complaints that had been raised about then-Executive Vice President Bob Aylward and then-President Chuck Armstrong. In Aylward’s case, one of the women who had complained about Mather also reported that pop-up porn images had filled Aylward’s computer screen while she was helping him with a frozen computer, according to two people familiar with the complaint. A third woman, who had worked as a suites manager for the team’s Centerplate Inc., concessionaire at Safeco Field, had complained that she felt pressured to reciprocate advances from Armstrong because of his power in the organization, according to three people familiar with that complaint.
Aylward and Armstrong have declined comment, and the team didn’t acknowledge those issues in the statement Wednesday. The three women who made the complaints left their jobs.
Stanton said in his statement Wednesday that Mather has learned from the experience and has since been an outstanding manager and executive. Stanton also said the team took the issue into consideration when promoting him to president in 2014 and CEO last year.
“We would not have promoted Kevin if we had any doubt about his ability to lead and to meet our high standards,” Stanton said.