"Based on Jim's decision to step down as GM, now is a good time to go in a new direction," said Hurricanes CEO Peter Karmanos. "Ron has dedicated himself to learning all aspects of running a hockey team in the past eight years, working in player development, on the coaching staff and in hockey operations. He has proven that he has the work ethic and passion to get the Hurricanes back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"I am happy that Jim will retain a role with our team, and I thank him for his 20 years as our general manager. He leaves quite a legacy with our organization, bringing the team three divisional championships, two conference titles and the Stanley Cup."
Francis, 51, becomes the eighth general manager in franchise history. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native is entering his ninth season in management with Carolina, the last two of which were as Vice President of Hockey Operations.
Vellucci, 47, joins the Hurricanes after 14 seasons with the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers, serving as Head Coach and General Manager for the majority of that time.
Tatum, 40, is entering his 17th season with the Hurricanes. As Assistant GM, the Raleigh native's responsibilities will include staff contract negotiations, scheduling, serving as the club's liason to the NHL regarding matters related to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and all day-to-day hockey operations administrative duties.