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NZRL Names New CEO

NZRL Names New CEO

Auckland, New Zealand November 21, 2012 – New Zealand Rugby League chairman Scott Carter today announced the appointment of Phil Holden as the national body’s new chief executive officer.

Carter said that following remarkable progress in recent years the NZRL is keen to ensure continuity of the game's reforms and the further development of marketing initiatives to fund grass-roots growth.

“The board has been impressed with the quality of applicants for this CEO role and we’re delighted to have Phil joining us,” said Carter.

"Our next strategic cycle will focus on sustainable structures that embed recent gains and exciting new initiatives that include our bid to co-host the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. Phil has the experience and skill set required in both of these areas."

"Phil understands sport and communities from many angles. Through his various roles he has been sponsored and a sponsor, and both funded and a funder."

Described as a charismatic values-based leader, Holden comes with a reputation of being able to build good relationships at all levels and delivering solid results.

He has an extensive executive background, holding chief executive officer and general marketing roles with a number of blue chip New Zealand companies.

He has considerable commercial experience in international markets and the hospitality, food and beverage, entertainment, sports and gaming sectors.

Holden also has a keen interest in sport, having played representative hockey for Southland, Otago, Wellington and Hawkes Bay, and is a former chairman of the Auckland Diamonds netball franchise.

He has the added advantage of established relationships in Wellington, and notably Sport New Zealand, through his current role as CEO of The Lion Foundation.

Holden said he was really excited to be joining the NZRL as CEO in what is a dynamic time for the sport.

"The challenges rugby league faces and the family/community-based proposition of the NZRL were compelling reasons for me wanting this role."

"I feel privileged to be given this opportunity and I look forward to working closely with the board to build on the fantastic work delivered to date."

Carter also paid tribute to outgoing chief executive Jim Doyle for his outstanding work over the past three years, saying he had helped bring belief and respect back to the national body.

Holden will start in the NZRL CEO’s role fulltime from February 2013.

Phil Holden
Employment History
Oct 2006–Nov 2012 CEO The Lion Foundation
Feb 2004–Oct 2006 CEO Coffee Connection Ltd
Nov 2002–Feb 2004 Head of Marketing, Cerebos Gregg's NZ Ltd
Jul 2002–Nov 2002 NPD Project Manager, Tip Top Ice Cream Co.
Dec 1999–Aug 2001 Marketing Manager, Auckland Rugby Football Union
Nov 1995–Sep 1999 Marketing Manager, Lion Breweries
Apr 1994–Oct 1995 Marketing Development Manager, J. Watties Foods (Heinz)
Mar 1993–Apr 1994 Marketing Manager, Carter Holt Harvey (Plix Packaging)

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