Super Rugby

Queensland Reds CEO to step down



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Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) CEO Jim Carmichael has revealed that he will not seek an extension to his current contract and is to step down at the end of this year after seven years in the role.

Mr Carmichael, who spent 25 years leading international and Australian-based businesses in a variety of major industries prior to joining QRU, confirmed that this decision had been 12-months in the making.

Mr Carmichael said: “In December, the QRU Board adopted our next five-year strategic plan, which will take the organisation through to 2020.

“The industry has now also ratified and adopted the Australian Rugby Strategic Plan, which the QRU has been closely involved in with the ARU for a number of years.

“Although in sport, the work is never completed, I was satisfied with the transformation and reform we have put in place not only for Rugby in Queensland but also for the influence we have been able to have on the national and international strategy for the code.

“Therefore, I came to a decision last year that it was time for me pursue another major challenge in my career and the QRU Board has been aware of my thinking since before the Christmas break.

“Originally, Rod McCall was due to retire as QRU Chairman in March 2017 and the Board had a clear succession plan which included Damien Frawley taking up the role of Deputy Chairman in 2016, so we could transition the organisation to his new stewardship.

“With Rod announcing his early retirement as QRU Chairman in February and Damien taking up the role earlier than originally planned, I felt that it was important to confirm to the Board some weeks ago – and also to the ARU with whom the relationship is close – that 2016 will be my final year, so that we have the necessary time to recruit the organisation’s next CEO.

“The QRU Board will shortly commence a recruitment process for the organisation’s next CEO, which will allow the successful candidate to have the necessary input into the QRU’s process to appoint a St.George Queensland Reds Head Coach ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby season. The CEO recruitment process will also allow an appropriate transfer of knowledge and transition period between myself, the Board and the incoming CEO. “

QRU Chairman Damien Frawley said: “I’d like to thank Jim for his immense contribution over the past seven years. His prior business experience outside Rugby allowed him to come to us with a fresh perspective, which has assisted not only Queensland but also the sport in Australia.

“When Jim arrived at Ballymore from Melbourne in 2009 there was huge uncertainty around the game and this organisation. The successes of the QRU’s Future Generation Strategy, which delivered growth and sustainability to the code in Queensland between 2010-2015 under a ‘one economy philosophy’, was an important milestone for the code in Queensland. I look forward to working with Jim as we continue to consolidate and also make the necessary transitions ahead of 2017.”

During his seven years as CEO, QRU has experienced considerable growth, including a 330% rise in Rugby participation in the State with numbers moving ahead of NSW for first time ever in 2013. Reds membership has also increased tenfold with QRU revenue up 50% over the same period.

Mr Carmichael, who has served the QRU as a Board member as well as CEO since 2009, reserved special thanks for the two Chairman he has worked alongside and his fellow Board members.

“I’d particularly like to thank our recently retired Chairman Rod McCall, without whose friendship, vision, counsel and drive we could never have achieved so much. I’m also looking forward to continuing the strong relationship with our Chairman Damien Frawley this year. Damien has been on our Board since 2013 and has been incredibly supportive and understanding of my decision, as has the Board, which has stood squarely behind the QRU executive. I’d also like to thank the wide Queensland Rugby stakeholder base for their support during the years of major and often difficult change and reform,” he said.

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