Newcastle United Taps Odgers Berndtson to Lead Sports Director Search

March 12, 2024 – Given the search industry’s knack for finding a need and filling it, it was only natural that recruitment firms would soon step to the fore in the sports sector, which has become a growth area for executive search businesses. Many C-suite-focused recruiting firms are now active in the sector and some specialize only in the sports field itself. In what is seen as a growing trend, sports organizations continue to look outside their respective leagues – and countries – to find executive talent. With so many changes in the sports industry in recent years, executive search firms have stepped up to better understand what type of leaders are needed in the sector.

Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson has been retained by Newcastle United to lead in its search for a new sports director. Dan Ashworth recently stepped down from this role with the Magpies. Darren Eales, Newcastle United CEO, said: “We are naturally disappointed that Dan has chosen to leave, however our exciting journey doesn’t stop and the process to recruit a new sporting director will begin immediately.”

The Mail report that Odgers Berndtson have already been hard at work with the search and the newspaper’s information is that “those who would be the top candidates have already been identified. Names mentioned to us include former Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell, Brentford pair Phil Giles and Lee Dykes and ex Roma chief Tiago Pinto, although the list will extend beyond that.”

Newcastle United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England. The team compete in the Premier League, the first level of the English football league system, as of the 2023–24 season.

Related: Odgers Berndtson Recruits CEO for the Port of Gulfport 

Odgers Berndtson’s specialists in sports, gaming and media work with the top federations, governing bodies, leagues, teams, and content creators across the world. Simon Cummins is the global head of Odgers Berndtson’s sports, gaming and media practice, placing senior leaders into all major sports organizations and international federations.

Odgers Berndtson Tapped to Fill Posts for 2032 Olympic Games
Odgers Berndtson has been appointed to find five independent directors, including the president, to serve on the organizing committee for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane. Federal Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck said a “rigorous recruitment process will ensure an unparalleled line-up of board directors working in the best interests of Queenslanders and all Australians.” The Australian and Queensland governments said they will work with Odgers to identify the officials, at least one of whom should be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

The chosen representatives will be determined by prime minister Scott Morrison and Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. “I’m delighted that the Australian and Queensland governments will work with Odgers Berndtson to identify, attract and secure the best talent for these important positions,” said Ms. Palaszczuk. “The organizing committee will be responsible for driving Brisbane 2032 forward and delivering a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. To do this we need to recruit the best people in the world.”

Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search, leadership assessment, and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries.

Recently Called In

The International Conservation Fund of Canada (ICFC) recently selected Odgers Berndtson to lead in its search for a new CEODominik Legault, principal and head of ESG at Odgers Berndtson, is leading the assignment. At this critical juncture, ICFC is seeking a CEO who will lead the organization as it continues to grow by providing strategic leadership, setting a clear vision, and ensuring the effective implementation of ICFC’s programs and initiatives. The new CEO will seek and seize opportunities to elevate ICFC’s public profile and generate greater impact through increased and sustained fundraising efforts, according to Odgers Berndtson.

Leading a team of seven full-time and one part-time staff with a budget of up to $8-10 million, the CEO will build relationships with existing and prospective donors and funders, represent ICFC in the protecting our planet challenge group and lead or delegate attendance at regular meetings held with peer conservation organizations with whom ICFC co-funds its projects.

Related: Odgers Berndtson Recruits CEO for the Positive Coaching Alliance

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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