Moments after being introduced as the Penguins' new general manager, Rutherford announced that coach Dan Bylsma has been fired.
Bylsma coached the Penguins for over five seasons and holds the club record for most career regular-season wins with 252.
But the Penguins have struggled in the post-season since winning the 2009 Stanley Cup — their only title in the Sidney Crosby era.
Rutherford, 65, is a former NHL goaltender who spent two decades as GM of the Carolina Hurricanes before stepping down in April.
The Hurricanes had a 534-486-156-20 regular-season record under Rutherford and won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
He replaces Ray Shero, who was fired last month after the Penguins were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the New York Rangers.