RFU CEO Ian Ritchie to retire

  • RFU CEO Ian Ritchie to retire at the end of the summer
  • RFU Chairman Andy Cosslett: "Ian has been an outstanding CEO"
  • Ian Ritchie's biography

Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive of the RFU, has today informed the RFU Board of Directors, management and staff that he will retire at the end of the summer.

Ritchie, 63, joined the RFU in February 2012. Under his leadership, the RFU has delivered record revenue and investment into professional and community rugby.
 
In this time, England teams have won three Grand Slams (men in 2016, women in 2017 and U20s in 2017) and four world titles (women in 2014, U20s in 2013, 2014 and 2016). The England men’s team won back-to-back RBS 6 Nations Championships in 2016 and 2017.

Ritchie also oversaw the successful delivery of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and negotiated the Professional Game Agreement with PRL this year, worth over £200 million to Premiership club rugby in England over the next eight years with the aim of making rugby in England the best in the world for club and country.

Participation in rugby has increased every year during Ritchie's tenure. Landmark initiatives include the successful the CBRE All Schools programme which has already taken rugby to 500 more state secondary schools in England and will increase this to 750 by Rugby World Cup 2019.
 
Ian Ritchie is one of two RFU representatives on the World Rugby Council, a member of the Board of the British and Irish Lions, and a member of the Six Nations Board. He is also Chairman of the Board of Team GB Rugby Sevens – the men's sevens team won a silver medal in their first Olympics, Rio2016.

Before joining the RFU in 2012, Ian was the CEO of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. He served on the Board of the Football League from April 2004 to December 2011 and, prior to his sporting roles, had a 30-year career in media, television and law including CEO of Channel 5 and Vice President of the Associated Press.

'Significant and lasting contribution' 

"Ian has been an outstanding CEO," said RFU Chairman Andy Cosslett. "He has led the RFU through a period of sustained growth and success, built a strong management team of executives and coaches, and kept the values of rugby at the heart of his leadership style.

"On behalf of the Board of the RFU, I would like to thank him for his significant and lasting contribution to English rugby."

Ian Ritchie said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the RFU. I'm proud to have been part of the rugby family, working with so many talented, passionate and committed teams at every level of the game and of the Union.

"Rugby is a special sport, and one which is very hard to leave, but after a 40-year career and seven CEO roles, I will retire at the end of the summer with a lifetime of memories, many of which have rugby at heart. I would like to thank Andy Cosslett, the Board, and everyone at the RFU for their support "

The RFU Board will now begin the process of recruiting Ian Ritchie's successor as CEO. An appointment will be made by the end of the summer.

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