ARU name new CEO
On Wednesday the Australian Rugby Union announced the appointment of well-know international business executive Bill Pulver as their new CEO.
53-year-old Pulver will start in the role on 1 February following the resignation of John O'Neill, last October.
He has a background in sports marketing and internet media research and has run companies around the world.
Pulver was most recently in the news when his daughter was the victim of an extortionist who broke into the family home in Sydney and put a fake "collar bomb" around her neck before demanding money.
ARU Chairman, Michael Hawker, revealed the appointment at a Media Conference in Sydney and spoke to the impressive corporate background of an executive with significant global experience.
"The ARU Board was looking for a specific skill set and, benchmarking against those criteria, we have found the right man for the job," said Hawker.
"We wanted someone with proven commercial success at CEO level, with international business experience and a love of Rugby.
"The Board also set priorities around good communication skills and an understanding of the world of Sports Marketing and Media.
Pulver takes over in an exciting year for Australian rugby with the British and Irish Lions touring in June and July.
One of the biggest decisions he will have to make this year will be whether to renew the contract of head coach Robbie Deans through to the 2015 World Cup.
"For 20 years I have been a chief executive in a diverse range of industries and now I have the opportunity to focus my efforts on this great game, the game I love," he said in a news release.
"Today there are many exciting investment opportunities that are capable of igniting growth in our game. However, the success of our financial model relies on a passionate and participative supporter base.
"In the short term the challenge for our team in the ARU headquarters is to work with all the game's stakeholders to ensure rugby in Australia powers forward as a unified and energised force."
Pulver maintains strong connections to grassroots Rugby, via the Mosman Junior Rugby Club in Sydney, while his second son Angus was the halfback in the 2012 Australian Schoolboys team.
A product of Shore School, Pulver's own Rugby career included GPS representation, followed by colts and grade Rugby for University of NSW.
"In a world where our supporters are distracted by an endless range of entertainment options, we must aim to constantly enhance our entertainment experience and maintain a high performance culture to be the No 1 team in the world," he said in listing his priorities.