Gillick Steps In As Phillies President With Montgomery Ailing

The Phillies said Thursday that president and CEO David Montgomery will take a leave of absence as he recovers from jaw cancer surgery and that former general manager Pat Gillick will replace him on an interim basis.

Montgomery, 68, had surgery in May. He’s worked for the Phillies since 1971 and has been team president since 1997.

“I have the highest regard for David Montgomery, as does everyone in our industry,” Gillick said in a statement. “I am glad to be of assistance to the Phillies.”

Gillick, 77, has been serving as a senior advisor for the Phils since he stepped down as general manager following the team’s 2008 World Series championship.

Gillick began his front office career as director of scouting for the Yankees in 1974 before moving on to the expansion Blue Jays in 1976, where he was vice president of player personnel before becoming GM in 1977.

He helped lead the Jays from the bottom of the AL East to five division titles, the first in 1985, and back-to-back World Series titles in 1993-94.

He left the Jays after the 1994 season to become general manager of the Orioles and helped Baltimore reach the playoffs in 1996-97, before leaving for Seattle after the ’98 season. He also led a Mariners’ surge that culminated in the team’s 116-46 record in 2001.