IRB CEO and Rugby World Cup Limited Managing Director Mike Miller is to step down from his roles at the end of January. In his 10 years at the helm at the IRB and Rugby World Cup Limited, Mike has overseen three hugely successful Rugby World Cups, the re-inclusion of Rugby into the Olympic Games, the expansion and growth of the HSBC Sevens World Series and the creation of the IRB’s Strategic Investment Programme and Union Fund which have seen an exponential increase in funding to Tier 1 and Tier 2 Unions and emerging major market countries.
Following discussions with recently re-elected Chairman Bernard Lapasset it was agreed that the beginning of a new four-year cycle following the acclaimed Rugby World Cup in New Zealand was a good time to end their successful partnership which has seen the IRB grow in stature and capability.
“It’s been a fantastic 10 years,” said Miller. “It was an honour and a privilege to have been welcomed into the Rugby family and to have worked with so many dedicated and talented Rugby people around the world. I have been lucky to have had three excellent chairmen in Vernon Pugh, Syd Millar and Bernard Lapasset and a brilliant staff at the IRB. We have achieved a lot in the last decade. Rugby is in a great place as it looks forward to Rugby World Cups in England and Japan, Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, Women’s Rugby World Cup in France and the Olympics in Rio in 2016.”
“The Game has grown around the world and with its major events going to Asia and Eastern Europe for the first time the platform has been established for Rugby to become a truly global sport. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to Rugby’s growth and success over the last 10 years and in particular Bernard for his support and vision and Bill Beaumont for his advice and guidance as Vice Chairman over the past four years.”
Lapasset said: “Mike has achieved much during his 10 years at the IRB which is a much stronger organisation than when he joined in 2002. The Game is in great shape and the IRB is ready to take on the challenges of continuing to grow Rugby around the world and in particular to ensure that the Tier 1 countries are strong and secure, the Tier 2 countries continue to improve and grow, and the emerging major market countries become competitive as soon as possible. All of this will be achieved through our strong working relationship with the IRB Regions who are the first point of support and contact for our Unions.”
“Mike will be a hard act to follow. But with my newly re-affirmed four-year mandate, a revamped IRB Executive Committee, a soon to be refreshed Rugby World Cup Board and a vibrant Council and staff we have the tools in place to continue to drive the Game forward.”