Peter Moore has announced that he will step down as the chief executive of newly-crowned Premier League champion Liverpool at the end of August, with the club’s managing director and chief commercial officer Billy Hogan set for a promotion to replace him.
A month-long transition phase will now begin, and Moore will see out his three-year contract to the end of the month, having originally joined the club in 2017. His appointment was seen at the time as an effort by Fenway Sports Group, the club’s American owners, to forge a deeper connection to the local area, with Moore being a native Liverpudlian and long-time supporter of the club, albeit one who left the UK in 1981 to embark on a long career in the American sports and gaming industries.
During his time in the US, Moore worked in senior executive roles at the likes of video gaming companies Sega, Microsoft and Electronic Arts, as well as sportswear brand Reebok.
In his time as chief executive he has overseen a radical transformation in Liverpool’s performances both on and off the pitch. Liverpool posted a world-record profit for a football club in 2018 after reaching the Uefa Champions League final that year, a competition it would go on to win the following season.
Moore’s connection to the city has played an important part in his tenure. He wrote an open letter to supporters of the club in April after the club reversed its decision to apply for the government’s job retention scheme. The fan group Spirit of Shankly objected to the club taking taxpayer money intended for struggling small businesses, and Moore’s intervention helped to smooth over relations. The same month, Matt Parish, director of the club’s charitable foundation, told SportBusiness that Moore’s wife Debbie had been leading online chair yoga sessions for the club’s older fans to offer a social connection during the UK’s lockdown.
Hogan steps up
Hogan has worked for FSG since 2004, joining Liverpool in 2012, shortly after the group’s takeover of the club, and is credited with revolutionising its commercial strategy. In his first six years at the club, he oversaw a doubling in commercial revenues, largely through diversifying its revenue streams and delivering a more focused, premium sponsorship package.
“When FSG bought the club, it took over an operation that, at that point, really wasn’t about building a sustainable business,” Hogan told SportBusiness in 2019. “Over the course of the last eight years now, we’ve been focused on maximising the potential of this football club on the global stage. You’ve seen progressive growth year after year, and that’s obviously translated into on-pitch success as well.”
Hogan took a perceived gamble on a kit supply deal with then little-known Warrior Sports, which became a fruitful relationship with New Balance, in whose apparel the club won the Champions League and Premier League titles, and who produced the best-selling replica shirt in Liverpool’s history. Next season, it will begin a lucrative deal with American brand Nike, Hogan having played his part in negotiating a novel approach which will see Liverpool net a basic £30m-a-year but also take 20 per cent of the royalties on net sales. Liverpool pushed the deal through after New Balance challenged the move in court.
Hogan’s duties with the club will now widen considerably, and he faces the challenge of steering the club through the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside FSG president Mike Gordon and Liverpool chairman Tom Werner.
On his departure, Moore said: “I’ve loved every minute of the job here in Liverpool and feel privileged to have moved the club forward on its civic, commercial and community operations during the last three years. It’s been an incredible journey and I’d like to pay tribute to John [Henry, FSG founder], Tom [Werner] and Mike [Gordon] for giving me the opportunity to lead the business operations at Liverpool.
“I came back to Liverpool in 2017 having been in the US for over 30 years and it’s been such a special experience. My wife and I married here two years ago and we go back to the US to our families with mixed emotions. Excited and looking forward to being reunited with our families and grown-up children in the US, emotional about leaving Liverpool which we’ve loved every minute of the opportunity to make a difference and leave our mark in the history of this great city and club.“
Hogan added: “Having been privileged to work at this club for over eight years, it is truly an honour to take up the role of chief executive officer and continue with the great work that has been done to date across the entire organisation. I thank John, Tom and Mike for this opportunity to lead the business into the next phase of this exciting chapter.”
The news follows last week’s announcement that former Manchester United sponsorship head Matt Scammell had joined Liverpool as commercial director, and is set to work alongside Hogan in his new role.