Brett Gosper has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the International Rugby Board by the global governing body's executive committee.
Vastly experienced and with an impressive sport and business track record, Gosper will start the role on August 15 and joins the federation at an exciting time for a sport that continues to experience unprecedented global participation, interest and commercial growth.
Gosper, 53, will be responsible for the day to day operations of the IRB in line with the 2010-2020 Strategic Plan as mandated by the IRB Council, including the delivery of Rugby World Cup in his dual role as Managing Director of Rugby World Cup Limited, the implementation of development, investment and player welfare strategies and rugby's successful return to the Olympic Games in 2016.
A Rugby man and former player with Racing Club in France and Australia Under 21, Gosper joins the IRB following a distinguished career with major international businesses, most recently as Chief Executive Officer of McCann Erickson Europe, Middle East and Africa and Chief Executive Officer of McCann Erickson USA.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset welcomed the appointment and expressed his excitement for the future of the IRB and the growth of rugby worldwide.
"Guided by our comprehensive Strategic Plan, the IRB has a clear mission to develop, sustain and grow the sport of rugby worldwide in order that it remains a thriving, attractive sport, bound by strong values that continue to reach out to record numbers of men, women and children worldwide," said Lapasset.
"Brett Gosper shares that vision and proved himself to be an outstanding candidate during an extensive recruitment process featuring excellent candidates. The IRB Executive Committee unanimously agreed that his strong blend of experience, skills and passion for the Game are perfectly suited to the role."
"Brett joins a strong and dynamic management team at an exciting time for the IRB and rugby and I am confident he will continue to drive the Game forward, ensuring our core base remains strong, competitive and compelling, while continuing to improve and grow the Game throughout our regions and within new markets."
"On behalf of all at the IRB, I would like to thank Robert Brophy for his excellent work, dedication and leadership as acting Chief Executive Officer. During his tenure, Robert has successfully managed a number of important of achievements, including the successful finalisation of Rugby World Cup 2011, a new financial model for Rugby World Cup 2015 and the adoption of a new disciplinary and sanctioning regime for the Game under Regulation 17. Robert will continue to act as the Chief Financial Officer of the IRB and RWCL," he added.
Gosper said: "I am delighted to be taking on this role at what is such an exciting time for the Game with Rugby World Cup going from strength to strength as a major global sporting brand as we look forward to the biggest-ever Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the sport returning to the Olympic Games at Rio 2016 with participation at an all-time high and a strong global commercial profile."
"I am passionate about Rrgby and look forward to using the experience gained through my involvement with the sport and management of global organisations and brands to work with the IRB Council, in partnership with Unions and Regions, and strengthen relationships with stakeholders to add further momentum to rugby as one of the world's most popular and commercially successful sports."