WRU appoint new CEO

Date published: July 7 2015

The WRU has unveiled Martyn Phillips, a former head of B&Q, as the new Group Chief Executive of the governing body.

Phillips, 46, was previously CEO of the £4bn home improvement giant which employs some 33,000 people across its UK stores and which is part of Kingfisher, one of Britain’s FTSE 100-listed companies.

During his time as CEO and Retail Director, the company's annual profit almost trebled to £238m.

The ex-Wales schoolboy rugby international, who is currently a director of the Leading Edge management and leadership consultancy, will take up his new role at the WRU later this year.

He was chosen by the WRU through a recruitment process which led to the creation of a shortlist of top flight candidates from across the UK and abroad.

Phillips, who is originally from Fishguard, will work alongside WRU Chairman Gareth Davies to lead and manage the strategic and operational development and evolution of the governing body at a time of rapid change within the game.

He said: "I am both delighted and honoured to be taking up the role of WRU Group Chief Executive at this incredibly exciting time for the game of rugby union in Wales.

"The brand of the Welsh Rugby Union is known across the world and I aim to ensure that we sustain and develop a business base which supports the entire game in Wales and exploits our opportunities to the full.

"Although I will not take up my appointment until the autumn, the work starts immediately. I will use the summer to meet some key people in order to hit the ground running in this pivotal role within the governing body.

"I am a great believer in relationships and developing people to their full potential and I know that within the Welsh Rugby Union, there is an incredibly passionate and energised workforce which has already achieved a lot of success.

"There are a range of opportunities and challenges ahead for the game in Wales and my first task will be to listen, and to understand the business of the governing body both internally and externally.

"As a follower of Welsh rugby I know the landscape well and I am determined to make a positive difference in the years ahead.

"There have been significant improvements and achievements as the role of the governing body has evolved in recent years, but there is never room for complacency and our aim must be to build on the progress which has been made on and off the field.

"In my career I have refrained from looking back and as I look to the future of Welsh rugby I am certain there can be a lot more success ahead. Rugby, globally, is changing at a rapid pace and we need to change with it.

"Although it is not yet time for me to outline my clear intentions and priorities there are a number of obvious factors which I aim to address.

"Negotiations for a new broadcast contract for the RBS 6 Nations Tournament are ongoing, the RSA with the Regions must be managed effectively for the benefit of all stakeholders, the community game must be fully and properly supported and the governing body needs to confirm a clear strategic plan for the immediate future.

"There is lots more going on and I am looking forward with immense excitement to taking on the role."

The Chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union, Davies, said: "I am thrilled that we have been able to secure someone of the calibre and remarkable career history of Martyn Phillips to become our new Group Chief Executive.

"He stood out from an incredibly strong shortlist of candidates and I am certain we have found the right man to take Welsh rugby forward.

"His impressive business CV speaks for itself and he is also very clearly a person who understands the importance of developing and inspiring our staff and stakeholders to get the very best results.

"We have to sustain and develop our foundation in the community game while building on the successes we have achieved at the top level and supporting the professional level of rugby in Wales to achieve its full potential.

"I look forward to working closely with Martyn as we focus all our energies on the entire game in Wales from the very top right through to the grassroots game and into our base within the schools.

"There is a lot of hard work ahead and we now have in place the leadership which can move Welsh rugby forward in unity and with clearly defined objectives.

"Martyn knows the scale of the task which awaits him and I am confident he will use all his talent and experience to great effect in the years ahead."