The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced the appointment of Brett Gosper as its new chief executive officer.
The 53-year-old Australian will start the role on August 15 and will be responsible for the day to day operations of the IRB, including the delivery of Rugby World Cup in his dual role as managing director of Rugby World Cup Limited, the implementation of development, investment and player welfare strategies and rugby’s successful return to the Olympic Games in 2016.
A rugby man and former player with Racing Club in France and Australia’s Under 21 team, Gosper joins the IRB having most recently served as CEO of global marketing communications firm McCann Erickson Europe, Middle East and Africa and CEO of McCann Erickson USA. Robert Brophy has served as acting CEO of the IRB following Mike Miller’s departure from the post in January. Brophy will return to his position as chief financial officer of the organisation.
“Guided by our comprehensive Strategic Plan, the IRB has a clear mission to develop, sustain and grow the sport of rugby worldwide in order that it remains a thriving, attractive sport, bound by strong values that continue to reach out to record numbers of men, women and children worldwide,” said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset. “Brett Gosper shares that vision and proved himself to be an outstanding candidate during an extensive recruitment process featuring excellent candidates. The IRB Executive Committee unanimously agreed that his strong blend of experience, skills and passion for the game are perfectly suited to the role. Brett joins a strong and dynamic management team at an exciting time for the IRB and rugby and I am confident he will continue to drive the game forward, ensuring our core base remains strong, competitive and compelling, while continuing to improve and grow the game throughout our regions and within new markets.”
Gosper added: “I am delighted to be taking on this role at what is such an exciting time for the game with Rugby World Cup going from strength to strength as a major global sporting brand as we look forward to the biggest-ever Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the sport returning to the Olympic Games at Rio 2016 with participation at an all-time high and a strong global commercial profile. I am passionate about rugby and look forward to using the experience gained through my involvement with the sport and management of global organisations and brands to work with the IRB Council, in partnership with unions and regions, and strengthen relationships with stakeholders to add further momentum to rugby as one of the world’s most popular and commercially successful sports.”
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Gosper takes reins as IRB CEO