RFU CEO Martyn Thomas to step down

Following increased pressure on his position as Chief Executive of the RFU, Martyn Thomas has announced that he will step down from his position at the end of his contract on the December 16th, 2011. The statement from the RFU, plus the other various changes in staff, and information that the Fran Cotton review has been scrapped, can be read below:

The Rugby Football Union’s Board of Directors held its scheduled November meeting today and approved the following:

Martyn Thomas has decided to leave his post as RFU Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on December 16, 2011 following the end of his contract

RFU Chief Financial Officer Stephen Brown, in addition to continuing to fulfil his current responsibilities, will become RFU Acting CEO on December 16, 2011 until the start date of a new permanent CEO

Martyn Thomas will on December 16 relinquish the chairmanship of England Rugby 2015 and directorship of European Rugby Cup Ltd. He will also step down from the International Rugby Board Council and Six Nations Committee

The Cotton Review will not take place. However, the Board has committed to an Independent Review to ensure the best performance systems are in place going towards RWC 2015. This Independent Review will be undertaken after the conclusion of the Professional Game Board Review. The make-up of the review panel and terms of reference will be confirmed at a later date.

RFU Chairman Paul Murphy said: “On behalf of the RFU I would like to thank Martyn for his contribution and dedication to rugby and the Union over the years, particularly in his last six as Chairman and latterly as Acting Chief Executive. He has been an integral part of the growth of the Union and the game as well as securing the 2015 Rugby World Cup for England as hosts. I know he will continue to support the Union with all his efforts until his contract ends.”

“As a sport we face some exciting and challenging times leading up to 2015, which will be a massive opportunity for the game in this country and as a Union it is important that the leadership structure is in place as soon as possible. The recruitment of new Chief Executive is well underway with an appointment expected by December 14. The Board has been hugely impressed with Stephen Brown since he joined. He is a great asset and we are fortunate to have someone of his calibre to lead the Union in this period.”

Martyn Thomas said: “It has been an honour to be part of the Union, most particularly for the past six months as Acting Chief Executive where I have been lucky enough to get to know better the RFU staff who work tirelessly for the good of the game. Stephen Brown for one has been a phenomenal addition to the Executive Team and, having got to know him very well over the last few months, I have total faith that he will provide the stability and leadership needed at this important time.

“I feel that now is the right time to spend more time with my family. As a result I have decided not to renew my contract at its conclusion in December.”

12 thoughts on “RFU CEO Martyn Thomas to step down

  1. From this I would assume, because you never know with the RFU, that Stephen Brown will be in charge of finding the new England boss.

  2. Hopefully this is the start of the rebuilding process, and that there will be more to follow Thomas out of HQ.

    Interesting that they’ve canned the Cotton Review…finally, they might have realised that endless reviews achieve nothing, let alone reviews of reviews.

    The sooner they get a new CEO involved the better – he can start wielding the axe and creating a proper organisation, with proper accountability and governance structures.

    1. Their hand was forced on the Cotton Review, none of the players wanted to co-operate. Needs to be sorted soon, this limbo state is helping nobody.

        1. Probably the more senior (and so called leaders) players who realised they were as much to blame for England’s poor performances. After all they’re the ones on the pitch.

          1. It’s apparently because they’re working with the Professional Game Board review, and didn’t want to work with more than one

  3. There’s mutterings of baron coming back which would be no bad thing! What they need is a CEO with a proven track record at major UK businesses and not rugby. They will then be able to come in from a fresh point of view and take the tough decisions that need to be taken.

      1. Dazza you laugh but some one like him or Theo Pafetis (spelling?) is exactly who we need to get in!

        Baron did First Choice and WH Smith before the RFU

  4. Business experience, Rugby knowledge and not afraid to make wholesale changes. Sounds like a job for Sir Clive to me! (Yes as C.E.O!)

    1. Kemlo I think that you need someone that is completely outside the rugby fraternity that way they can pick people from a business point of view with no emotion, loyalties etc. Someone who doesn’t know the personalities will come in and do the best for the business which means picking the best person for each job not their mate or next in line etc. If you look at any of the FTSE 100 companies the CEO is very rarely home grown talent they are normally brought in from outside the industry for the reasons I have stated above. The RFU is no different, or shouldn’t be!

      1. I agree – someone from outside the bubble would be best, so they aren’t implicated in all of the playground name calling that’s been going on for years. They’ll earn every penny of their money if they do turn things around!

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