Egon Zehnder Assists Cricket Australia in CEO Search

November 27, 2018 – Cricket Australia (CA) has named internal candidate Kevin Roberts as its new CEO. Egon Zehnder assisted the organization in the search.

“Our position within the Australian community and as a representative on the global stage is key to our success,” said David Peever, chairman. “Kevin is the best candidate for our organization and has been given a clear mandate by the board to deliver our strategy to ensure cricket maintains a strong and sustainable foothold in sport locally and globally. Given the complexity of the role and the increasing challenges facing our sport, the board concluded that an internal candidate with first-hand experience driving strategic transformation and engagement at CA would be best placed to help ensure continued success for Australian cricket.”

Mr. Roberts played 23 first-class games and 18 domestic one-day matches for the New South Wales cricket team as a batter between 1994 and 1998, then held senior management roles within global sportswear brands including Adidas and 2XU before returning to cricket in 2015 as CA’s executive general manager. Mr. Roberts most recently served as served as a Cricket Australia director and leader of its executive team.

“Kevin’s vast corporate leadership experience within Australia and overseas, his leadership of the development and implementation of our strategy, his demonstrated ability to lead change through the One Team transformation, and his deep pedigree in cricket both on and off the field, outline why Kevin was identified as the best candidate from a very strong list,” Mr. Peever said. “Kevin will continue to focus on the implementation of our multimillion dollar investment in community cricket, along with leading our commitment to create the best participation experiences to be the leading sport for women and girls.”

Sports and Entertainment Expansion Elevating Search Business

Over the last 25 years, the sports sector has grown into a formidable global industry. Historically, professional sports teams operated on a relatively modest level, with league officials, team owners, managers, and coaches surrounding themselves with people they knew and trusted from their own small worlds. College sports teams relied on in-house search committees and word-of-mouth recommendations. Familiarity, however, can also breed contempt.

Teams with huge followings like the Dallas Cowboys, Real Madrid and Manchester United have seen their valuations soar into the billions of dollars. That’s attracted search firms – big time. Seasoned recruiters now provide strategic planning advice, in addition to talent identification services, with the capability of applying their findings to speed along the process in the hunt for talent. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

“One of the many things I love about cricket as our national sport is its ability to bring people together and inspire us, regardless of our age, gender or cultural background,” said Mr. Roberts. “Under my leadership, we will be deeply committed to providing the best experiences of cricket to everyone who watches the game or plays the game, and we will work closely with our broadcasters and commercial partners to deliver on that commitment.”

CEO Recruiting

Egon Zehnder’s global CEO practice works closely with boards to identify, develop and appoint CEOs equipped to meet the challenges and define the opportunities organizations face, both today and down the road. Over the last five years, the firm has led more than 1,000 CEO placements making it one of the preeminent leaders in C-suite recruitment. The firm’s CEO practice includes senior consultants from across the globe, with cross-sector expertise in business and industry, government and the non-profit sectors.

Related: Executive Search Gets ‘On the Ball’ In Sports Recruitment

In September, Egon Zehnder was also retained by the International Cricket Council to conduct its search for a new CEO, following news that current leader David Richardson will step down next summer. Partner Neil Waters, who is based in Hong Kong, is leading the search. The Dubai-based governing body wants an executive who can oversee the delivery of a new global strategy for cricket that is focused on the growth of the game in both traditional and non-traditional markets.

James Sutherland, who is departing from his longtime role as chief executive for Cricket Australia, is likely to be on Egon Zehnder’s list of prospects, according to a recent report by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) in Australia. The search firm is also conducting the search for CA’s next leader. Founded in 1909 as the Imperial Cricket Conference, ICC is the international governing body for cricket.

Related: DavenportMajor Completes Search for Cricket Communications

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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