The Brumbies have announced the appointment of Michael Thomson as their new chief executive ending what was a turbulent year for the club.
This after the Canberra-based franchise were involved in a lengthy saga with their former chief executive, Michael Jones, who, after initially being removed from his position by the Brumbies board, took the franchise to court where he won an injunction to keep his position. Jones later agreed to leave the side.
Thomson is no stranger to the Brumbies having been General Manager at the franchise for two years before taking on positions at the Australian Rugby Union, Nike (Greater China) and the Australian Sports Commission from where he joins the club.
“The Brumbies have a fantastic tradition of more than 20 years which is important to recognise,” said Thomson.
“I am excited about the opportunity and welcome the challenge to lead the organisation into the future.As a Canberran, born and raised, I like many from this region have a great affinity with the Brumbies, and the sport of rugby union. This is an organisation that is bigger than the sport and must continue to truly represent Canberra and the wider region, both nationally and internationally.
“I re-join the Brumbies at a time of change, including the departure of some experienced players. Change also brings opportunity. A new generation of players has the chance to not only carry on the Brumbies tradition, but create a history of their own. I thank and congratulate Phil Thomson for the superb job he has done as interim CEO. I look forward starting in the role in the new year and continuing to grow the club and make our supporters and Canberra proud.”
Brumbies chairman Robert Kennedy was thrilled with the appointment after an extensive application process that identified a number of outstanding candidates.
“The application process attracted a highly competitive field and, in announcing Michael Thomson as the preferred candidate, the Board are pleased to not only get a CEO with international commercial and sports high performance experience, but also a resident of Canberra with a deep passion and knowledge of rugby locally and nationally,” he said.
“Michael will commence the role in January and receive a hand over from Phil Thomson. He will oversee the process for the appointment of a new General Manager Professional Rugby and Pathways and commence the search for a new coach for 2018. On behalf of everyone connected with Brumbies Rugby I would like to offer a huge thank you to Phil Thomson for righting the ship over the past seven months. The Brumbies rugby community have been extremely fortunate to have Phil in the role during this time.
“The Brumbies 2017 season is set and looking in good shape which will allow Michael to settle in and starting putting plans in place for 2018 and beyond. Now is a time for all supporters to get behind the club and, as we did in 1996, show the world what Brumbies rugby is capable of.”
Picture credit: Brumbies website