Premiership Rugby announces CEO succession plans

The Board of Premiership Rugby has announced that Mark McCafferty has decided to complete his term as Chief Executive at the end of the current Gallagher Premiership season in June 2019 and will then become an advisor to CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm that has partnered with Premiership Rugby to help grow the sport. He will be succeeded as Chief Executive, Premiership Rugby, by Darren Childs, a leading media industry executive with more than 25 years of experience in senior roles in global media.

Over Mark’s 14 years of leadership, Premiership Rugby has become synonymous with the best and most competitive Club competition in the world, with major influence in the global game. During his tenure, Mark negotiated three major TV deals which more than tripled media revenues and last year concluded a new title partnership with US insurance powerhouse Gallagher, positioning Premiership Rugby for the next phase of its international development. Mark also orchestrated the Clubs’ negotiation of two successive long-term agreements with the RFU, which consolidated the Club and Country partnership in England, established the Professional Game Board, and secured the key rugby and commercial platforms necessary for success. . He will continue to represent the Clubs on the Professional Game Board.

Drawing on his experience in the media sector, Darren Childs will be leading the next stage of the development of Club Rugby. Throughout his career Darren has led organisations through significant growth and strategic transition, focusing in particular on expanding audiences and growing digital platforms. He announced in February that he would be stepping down from his current role as Chief Executive of UKTV, Britain’s biggest multichannel broadcaster, in June. During his eight years in the role, UKTV has increased its revenues by 66% and almost tripled profits, and won a series of awards including an Emmy and numerous BAFTA nominations.

Ian Ritchie, Chairman of Premiership Rugby, said, “Mark has played a pivotal leadership role in the development of Premiership Rugby since 2005. The growth of the Club game in England and Europe during that time has been tremendous.”

He added, “As the game evolves under new ownership, we are excited about the expertise and insight that Darren will bring from his experience leading fast-growing media businesses. The Board looks forward to working with Darren to further develop the Premiership Rugby brand, product, digital and media execution.”

Darren Childs, incoming CEO of Premiership Rugby said, “I am excited about the challenge that working in a new industry brings, especially one on the cusp of a transformation like Rugby. I have always admired the values Rugby demonstrates on the pitch and in the community and it will be a fantastic opportunity to work with the Clubs, and the Board to create even more fans of the sport. Premiership Rugby and European Professional Club Rugby are full of thrills and the future will certainly provide many more.”

Mark McCafferty said, “Gallagher Premiership Rugby has become a brilliant and captivating competition for our fans, as the closeness of this season fully demonstrates, and it does what we believe professional sport should always do – demand excellence, create intense rivalry but mutual respect, and inspire people of all ages to become part of it. I am looking forward to ensuring an effective transition with Darren and to my continued involvement in rugby, working from a new vantage point alongside CVC.”

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