Executive changes have today been confirmed by the New Zealand Warriors.
Effective from September 1, Eric Watson will relinquish his position as chairman, managing director Jim Doyle will move into the role of executive chairman and chief operating officer Cameron George will become CEO.
“The changes are in the club’s best interests,” said Watson.
“With succession in mind, this was always our plan and we’re ideally positioned to implement these moves with minimal disruption.
“The chairman’s role is best performed locally.
“It’s a fast-paced business with a lot going on at any one time. In more recent times, I’ve had limited opportunities to spend time in New Zealand and have a lot of demands on my time.
“The new NRL funding model means the clubs are big business and deserve a dedicated focus. A local chairman will be better placed to steer the Warriors to achieving success.
“In Jim, we have an experienced executive of the highest calibre, a proven businessman and someone with a tremendous passion for rugby league.”
Watson said succession planning had been Doyle’s mandate.
“Transitioning him through the managing director role to executive chairman was our plan at the time he joined the club in 2014 to ensure his knowledge, relationships and expertise were retained within the club,” said Watson.
“He will be involved in not only ongoing board matters and supporting Cameron as CEO but also representing the club in NRL relations and overseeing board-level strategic initiatives.”
Doyle said George had been identified some time ago by the Warriors.
“Cameron comes with leadership experience in the sports, entertainment and integrity industry,” said Doyle.
“He joined as a board director in February last year and in May this year he accepted the opportunity to take up a newly-created role as COO with the club so he comes into the CEO’s position with the benefit of experience. He’ll do a fantastic job in his new role.”
Previously CEO with the Auckland Racing Club, George is excited about the opportunity.
“With the NRL’s new club funding agreement, this is a great time to take on the role,” he said.
“I’m passionate about the club and I’m driven by the challenges ahead as we strive to achieve success on and off the field.”
Watson said the changes ensured the Warriors were well-positioned ahead of the 2018 season.
“Jim’s expertise, knowledge of the club and the NRL is a huge asset and we are thrilled to have him step up to his new role as executive chairman,” he said.
“In Cameron, we again have someone with a strong understanding of the club, great relationships and a proven track of business success – combined with a genuine passion for rugby league. Implementing the changes now allows us to focus on actioning our plans for 2018.”