EPCR, the organisers of the Champions Cup, have announced the appointments of Vincent Gaillard as Director General and Simon Halliday as independent Chairman.
Vincent Gaillard has more than 20 years experience as a senior executive with global brand leaders Coca-Cola, for whom he managed sponsorship for the Olympic Games, Rugby World Cup and the FIFA World Cup, and with the European arm of the NBA (National Basketball Association).
He joins from the Swiss-based SportAccord (General Association of International Sports Federations) where he held the post of Chief Executive Officer.
Based at EPCR's headquarters in Neuchatel, Switzerland, the new Director General will play a key role in driving the organisation forward as it extends the professional club rugby footprint across Europe and develops its commercial programme.
Simon Halliday enjoyed a stellar career as a player featuring in two England Grand Slams and the 1991 Rugby World Cup final before going on to further success in the stockbroking and investment banking sectors while maintaining strong ties with the game worldwide.
As independent Chairman, Simon will help to shape EPCR's strategy as the organisation grows its business and increases revenue distribution to the participant clubs.
Paul McNaughton, interim EPCR Chairman, said: "On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to confirm the appointments of Vincent and Simon. Both will bring a wealth of commercial expertise and administrative experience to EPCR, as well as a strong understanding of the business of sport as we move forward into a new phase for the professional club game in Europe.
"Under the management of Jacques Pineau, EPCR has now established a fully-staffed executive in Neuchatel with a combination of experienced personnel who are transferring from Dublin and new employees from Switzerland and France.
"I would also like to thank especially ERC independent Chairman, Jean-Pierre Lux, for his outstanding contribution to European club rugby, and my thanks as well to the staff of ERC who have delivered the tournaments with such expertise and dedication over the years.”
Vincent Gaillard said: "I am honoured to be offered this position by EPCR at a pivotal time for the development of the competitions. I am aware of rugby's great traditions and of the illustrious history of the club game in Europe and I look forward to working closely with Simon, the Board and the Executive Committee in the future.”
Simon Halliday said: "I hope that my years of rugby experience on and off the pitch combined with a lifetime career in finance will be of benefit to EPCR as the organisation develops. The growth of European club rugby over the last number of years has been remarkable and now it's very exciting to be a part of what promises to be a great future for the tournaments.”
Vincent Gaillard will work alongside current Director General, Jacques Pineau, before formally taking up his role on 1 July 2015, while Simon Halliday assumes the post of independent Chairman from 4 May 2015.