The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has appointed All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) chief executive Ian Ritchie as its new CEO.
Wednesday’s announcement will see Ritchie take over from acting CEO Stephen Brown, who will revert back to his role as chief financial officer. Ritchie takes the reins following a turbulent year for English rugby’s governing body which saw the national team fall at the quarter-final stage of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand against a backdrop of controversial off-field headlines.
The RFU has chosen Ritchie as having an “outstanding mix of business experience, leadership skills and the innate understanding of the sporting world”. In his role as chief executive of the AELTC, Ritchie has huge experience of working with some of the world’s leading sportsmen and women, and has succeeded in growing Wimbledon’s status as one of the world’s most iconic sports events. In addition to his role at AELTC, Ritchie has held senior non-executive positions with a number of the UK’s leading sporting organisations.
He was appointed to the board of the Football League in 2004 as its first independent director. He has been a Football League representative on the Football Association Council since 2008. Ritchie is also Chairman of the Football League’s Commercial Committee and its wholly owned subsidiary FL interactive, as well as being a director of Wembley Stadium Limited. “A very strong field of candidates applied for this post,” said Ian Metcalfe, the RFU board member who led the recruitment. “Ian clearly demonstrated the required knowledge and capabilities across a broad range of areas. He was the standout candidate with his combination of business acumen, leadership qualities and background in sports administration. We could not have wished for a better candidate who is so highly respected across sport and the business sectors.”
Ritchie will join the RFU after fulfilling notice period obligations with the date to be confirmed later. While he will face notable challenges, he will join with the RFU in a healthy financial position having last month posted a record profit of £8.7 million for the year through to June 30, 2011. “I believe English rugby has a very bright future, culminating in a once-in-a-lifetime home World Cup in 2015,” said Ritchie. “I am determined to help rugby create a legacy from the tournament that will benefit the sport for generations to come. The RFU has great commercial partners and a very sound financial base, underpinning the development of rugby union at grassroots and elite level.”
He added: “The decision to leave the AELTC was a difficult one. I have been fortunate to work for a wonderful organisation and am extremely proud of what it has achieved over the past few years. I know that Wimbledon will continue to go from strength to strength with its exceptional leadership and fantastic management and staff.”
View original post here:
Ritchie takes RFU hot seat