World Rugby has positioned Charlotte Samuelson as the organisation’s Chief Operating Officer in line with delivering an ‘ambitious’ new strategic plan.

Joining the World Rugby team in Dublin in May, the new appointment will have responsibility for all of World Rugby’s corporate activities, including finance, legal, technology, risk and HR.

World Rugby Chief Executive, Alan Gilpin, commented: “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.” 

The company has claimed that Samuelson has a ‘proven track record’ in terms of business management and corporate services, whereas she also is a qualified Auditor who also holds degrees in Psychology, and in English and Philosophy. 

“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,” Gilpin added.

Some of the appointee’s previous experience includes serving 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.

Samuelson shared: “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.”

Described as a ‘lifelong rugby fan’, Sameulson has also had further experience of the sports sector as a Non-Executive Board Member of Surrey County Cricket Club

She concluded that she 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.

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