International Cricket Council Taps Egon Zehnder to Find CEO

September 26, 2018 – The International Cricket Council (ICC) has selected Egon Zehnder 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.

“This is a pivotal time for our game and we need to appoint a chief executive who can oversee the delivery of our new global strategy for cricket which is focused on the growth of the game in both traditional and non-traditional markets,” said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.

“The strategy is bold in its ambition and the ICC board is committed to a search that takes us beyond cricket to identify a strong leader who can propel the sport forward into a period of significant and sustained global growth, particularly in new markets.”

A Global Search

ICC has made it clear that the search will be global in scope, and that this was a key factor in its choice of recruitment firms. “We have appointed Egon Zehnder to ensure we undertake a truly global search and select our new CEO from the most competitive pool of talent possible,” said Mr. Manohar

James Sutherland, who is departing from his longtime role as chief executive for Cricket Australia (CA), 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.

“Sutherland is busy preparing the mother of all handover notes after 17 years in the hot seat but his next step has the potential to reshape the cricketing world,” said SBS. “Sutherland is yet to reveal his cards, publicly or privately, but looms as a leading contender for the Dubai-based gig if he is willing to relocate.”


Cricket Tasmania Taps Egon Zehnder for CEO Search
Cricket Tasmania, the administrative body for cricket in Tasmania, Australia, had retained Egon Zehnder to find its next chief executive officer. Cricket Tasmania’s primary purpose is to promote and develop the game of cricket in Tasmania, run junior and educational programs and competitions.


Mr. Sutherland’s feelings about such a move remain an open question. “The 53-year-old has spent almost half of his life working for CA and is understandably keen to spend more time with his wife and three children,” said SBS. “However, the ICC and Sutherland could potentially negotiate an agreement that allows for some time in Melbourne.”

CEO Recruiting

Founded in 1909 as the Imperial Cricket Conference, ICC is the international governing body for cricket. The group is responsible for organizing and governing the sport’s major international tournaments, including the Cricket World Cup. ICC is made up of 12 full members that play test matches, 37 associate members and 56 affiliate members. The organization presides over the ICC Code of Conduct, playing conditions, the Decision Review System and other ICC regulations. It also appoints all match officials that officiate at all sanctioned international matches. Its Anti-Corruption Unit is charged with coordinating action against corruption and match-fixing.

For boards, the task of selecting a new CEO is fraught with more risk and uncertainty than ever. It is no longer a matter of simply choosing a successor based on past performance or current readiness, said Egon Zehnder. The decision is a complex study in forecasting the future, assessing possibilities and mitigating risk.

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

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.

A Veteran Recruiter

Mr. Waters is regarded as a trusted advisor to boards on CEO and board succession. His clients include governments, community organizations, and private sector companies in numerous industries. He is active in Egon Zehnder’s CEO and board consulting practices. He has also played a senior role in professional development of the firm’s consultants globally.

Previously, Mr. Waters was a consultant and engagement manager with McKinsey & Company. Earlier in his career, he was a systems engineer and marketing representative with IBM Australia.

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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