Struggling Rebels have a new CEO
Struggling Rebels have a new CEOSHARE
Stephenson will assume the responsibility of the day-to-day management of the franchise, including recruitment and operations.
Cox said that Stephenson's experience made him the ideal candidate for the role.
"Baden was integral to establishing a stable football department after the franchise's initial seasons were plagued by significant turnover of players, coaches and administrators so his experience and knowledge of Victorian rugby will be key to our future," Cox said.
"After the most challenging year in which the franchise's future was negligently brought into question, Baden will be responsible for consolidating our operations and lead the Melbourne Rebels into a new successful era."
Stephenson joined the Melbourne Rebels in 2014 as the franchise's General Manager Football Operations, where he brought much-needed stability on and off the field.
A strong relationship with grassroots through the Dewar Shield Ambassador program, which sees all contracted players aligned with local franchises, and consecutive franchise record seasons in 2015 and 2016 has provided a solid foundation for the Rebels.
A graduate of the University of Canberra, Stephenson has a long history in Rugby, as a representative player, coach and administrator with 20 years of full-time Rugby employment in Australia and Japan. He has vast experience and very strong working relationships across franchise rugby, Super rugby franchises, ARU and SANZAAR.
Stephenson spent four years as Executive General Manager at Sydney University Rugby franchise, where he was responsible for managing and overseeing all elements of the highly successful SUFC business and Rugby program prior to joining the Rebels.
"I am really humbled by the opportunity and see the appointment as a huge honour" Stephenson said.
"While there is plenty of hard work ahead, the franchise has some great people and foundations in place and I really look forward to leading the franchise into the future."
This appointment is the first of a number of changes and announcements that we will be making as we position the franchise for the 2017 NRC season and 2018 Super Rugby season, after a difficult season which has been impacted by the instability caused by the ARU's decision to state that it was reducing the number of Australian Super Rugby teams to four.