World Rugby has announced the appointment of Charlotte Samuelson as Chief Operating Officer.

Samuelson will have overarching responsibility for all of World Rugby’s corporate activities, including Finance, Legal, Technology, Risk and HR and joins the World Rugby team in Dublin in May.

With a proven track record in business management and corporate services, Samuelson, a qualified Auditor who also holds Degrees in Psychology, and in English and Philosophy, has previously served in senior roles at Close Brothers, Vanquis Bank, Barclays Bank and Grant Thornton, as well as consulting, internal audit and risk management roles at EY, BBC and the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity.

World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “We have recently undertaken a full review of the World Rugby organisation as we look to deliver global growth for rugby in a rapidly-evolving and highly-competitive sports market to ensure that we can effectively govern and lead the sport. To do this, we need to have world-class people, technology, systems and processes in place.

“This new Chief Operating Officer role reflects that need, and I am delighted that we are appointing Charlotte to this pivotal role. Charlotte’s extensive and broad experience will enable us to continue to develop and invest in our people and these key areas, supporting the growth of rugby and the growth of World Rugby as a business that invests in the game globally and is even more purpose-driven in its approach.”

A lifelong rugby fan, with experience of the sports sector including as a non-executive board member of Surrey County Cricket Club, Samuelson is looking forward to contributing to an exciting period of change and growth in World Rugby and rugby globally, supporting 128 national member unions and six regional associations.

Samuelson said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed Chief Operating Officer of World Rugby, a role which combines my passion for sport and two decades of cross-sector corporate experience. We have exciting times ahead at World Rugby and ensuring that we are operating with best-in-class corporate functions is integral to the successful delivery of our strategic plan. I can’t wait to get started.

Sport for Business Perspective

If 2021 was the year of Women in Sport on the field of play, 2022 is shaping up to match it in the corridors of power with Samuelson joining Una May as two major high profile appointments in the opening days of the year.


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