New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has promoted Mark Robinson to the role of chief executive, the first former All Black to take up the position.
The announcement today (Monday) follows a two-month recruitment process which was launched after Steve Tew stated in June that he would depart as chief executive at the end of the year.
Robinson played nine tests for the All Blacks between 2000 and 2002. The 45-year-old was elected to the NZR board in 2013 and has been the organisation’s delegate to World Rugby since 2014.
NZR chairman Brent Impey said: “We are delighted that Mark has put his hand up for this role. He has been an incredibly insightful director on the board, and at the international rugby table, he has been a sound and respected voice.
“This is a very exciting time as Mark starts to transition into the role, working closely with Steve at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Mark will vacate his seat on the board when he officially starts, and his appointment also creates an extra seat on the World Rugby Council which we will consider in due course.
“We were impressed with the internal and external applicants for this role. Steve Tew leaves behind some big shoes to fill, and Mark is more than capable of marking his own footprints.
“With fans consuming rugby in so many interesting and modern ways, with the future of our international competitions still being shaped, the evolution of the women’s game towards professionalism, the on and off field success of the All Blacks and the prospect of a new All Blacks coach – there’s never been a more perfect time for a new CEO to start.”
Tew was appointed chief executive after the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has worked for NZR since 2001. Robinson said: “I have a clear vision to continue to grow the great work already established under Steve’s watch and recognise the significant responsibility we have in ensuring our game continues to flourish at all levels.
“With 160 staff based around the country, world leading teams and competitions that traverse the entire calendar, I am humbled that the board believe I can help add to our legacy.
“There are exciting challenges ahead for rugby, and I look forward to working with the board and the entire team at New Zealand Rugby, to keep New Zealand Rugby at the front of hearts and minds of New Zealanders and black team fans all over the world.”