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Simon Massie-Taylor heads to Premiership Rugby as CEO, plus more

All the week’s Movers & Shakers in one place.

15 October 2021 Ed Dixon

Premiership Rugby

Premiership Rugby, English rugby union’s top flight, has confirmed the appoint of Simon Massie-Taylor as its new chief executive.

Massie-Taylor arrives from the Rugby Football Union (RFU), where he worked as the organisation’s chief commercial and marketing officer since September 2016. Prior to that, he held commercial director roles at the British Olympic Association (BOA) and Tough Mudder in New York.

Massie-Taylor’s start date at Premiership Rugby will be announced in due course.

Premiership Rugby added that the appointment was a key moment for the organisation as the business ‘moves to accelerate development of the full potential of the league, for the benefit of the players, the clubs and our fans’.

The hiring of Massie-Taylor comes after it was announced in April that Darren Childs would be stepping down as Premiership Rugby chief executive to act as an advisor to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which owns a 27 per cent share in the top tier Gallagher Premiership.

“As we emerge out of the Covid period it’s an important time for our sport,” said Massie-Taylor. “I am looking forwards to investing behind our product, working together with the talented team at Premiership Rugby, our clubs, owners and investors.”

Andrew Higginson, chairman of Premiership Rugby, added: “Simon’s deep knowledge of commercial matters, passion for and understanding of the sport makes him uniquely placed to support Premiership Rugby in becoming the most competitive and exciting rugby league in the world.”

Elsewhere, former Croatia President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has been appointed to chair the International Olympic Committee (IOC) panel responsible for identifying and recommending hosts of the Olympic Games.

Leo Mindel, co-founder of sports digital agency Sotic, will step into a new role as non-executive chairman to its board of directors.


Marion Rousse

Director, Tour de France Femmes

Notes: Having retired from professional cycling in 2015, Rousse has worked as a consultant for France Télévisions and since 2019 has taken part in race organisation as the deputy director of the Tour de la Provence.

DeMaurice Smith

Executive director, National Football League Players Association (NFLPA)

Notes: The NFLPA’s board of representatives has voted to retain Smith for a fifth term that is set to last until 2023.

Amanda Vandervort

President, USL Super League

Previously: Chief women’s football officer, Fifpro

Dominic Curran

Managing director, Americas, MKTG

Previously: Head of sports, Gravity Road

Jay Kaufman

Executive vice president, head of sports, National Research Group (NRG)

Previously: Senior vice president, global research and insights, National Basketball Association (NBA)

Kara Allen

Chief impact officer, Spurs Sports & Entertainment

Previously: Chief executive, Umoja Student Development Corporation

Emily Norell

Tournament director, golf, Excel Sports Management

Previously: Director, tournament business affairs, Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA)

Rory Woolston

Head of blockchain strategy, KIN Partners

Previously: Partnerships and endorsements, Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

Roy Anderson

Chief financial officer, Allied Esports

Previously: Partner, Mazars USA

Richard Norton

Head of commercial partnerships and strategy, eSkootr Championship

Previously: Senior consultant, The Sports Consultancy

Nick Webborn

Chair, British Paralympic Association (BPA)

Previously: Webborn has been appointed chair for a second term, having held the role since 2017.

Nick Fry

Non-executive chairman, McLaren Applied

Previously: Chief executive, Mercedes Formula One Team


Earl Eddings

Chair, Cricket Australia (CA)

Notes: CA said Eddings believed his decision to step down ‘was in the best interests of cricket and would provide the opportunity to continue the ongoing board renewal process’. Current director Richard Freudenstein has been elected chair of CA and will serve until a permanent successor to Eddings is elected, with plans to have the new appointment in place by the end of the year.

Carsten Schmidt

Chairman of the board, Hertha Berlin

Notes: Schmidt is leaving the German top-flight soccer club for personal reasons. The 58-year-old’s duties will be taken up by managing directors Fredi Bobic and Ingo Schiller.

Daniel von Busse

Chief operating officer, Sport1

Notes: DWL.de reports that von Busse will depart the German broadcaster at the end of October to take on new professional challenges. Daniel Grässle, Sport1’s head of social media, is also exiting the network and will be replaced by Lucas Lampen.

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