Bill Pulver announced as ARU CEO [VIDEO]

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    ARU CEO Bill Pulver will need more than a few glamour shots to fix the game in Australia. (Image: Supplied)

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    The ARU have announced business executive Bill Pulver as John O’Neill’s replacement as ARU CEO. Official release from the ARU follows:

    “Highly-regarded international business executive, Bill Pulver, has today been announced as the new Chief Executive Officer of Australian Rugby Union.

    Mr Pulver, 53, will start in the role on 1 February following the resignation of John O’Neill AO, last October.

    ARU Chairman, Michael Hawker AM, revealed the appointment at a Media Conference in Sydney and spoke to the impressive corporate background of an executive with significant global experience.

    Mr Pulver has lived and worked in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, across a diverse range of industries including media, research, internet, sports marketing and linguistics.

    “The ARU Board was looking for a specific skill set and, benchmarking against those criteria, we have found the right man for the job,” said Mr Hawker.

    “We wanted someone with proven commercial success at CEO level, with international business experience and a love of Rugby.

    “The Board also set priorities around good communication skills and an understanding of the world of Sports Marketing and Media.

    “Bill has all those attributes. He has enjoyed success in large and small businesses, through growth cycles and tough times.

    “He has worked in Japan, the UK, the USA and Australia. His love of Rugby dates back to his school days and he has coached at the junior levels.

    “Bill also has an impressive background as President and Chairman of significant Sports Marketing and internet media research companies.”

    Mr Pulver maintains strong connections to grassroots Rugby, via the Mosman Junior Rugby Club in Sydney, while his second son Angus was the halfback in the 2012 Australian Schoolboys team.

    A product of Shore School, Mr Pulver’s own Rugby career included GPS representation, followed by colts and grade Rugby for University of NSW.

    Post-university, he started a 17-year career with global marketing research firm ACNielsen in Australia, rising to the role of Managing Director. He was later based in Tokyo as Group Chief Executive for Japan and Korea.

    From 1999-2001, Mr Pulver moved to London as President of ACNielsen, an internet audience measurement operation.

    Six years based in New York followed as President of the NASDAQ listed internet media and market research company NetRatings Inc.

    From 2008 to 2010, Mr Pulver was Chairman of Repucom International, a global leader in sports marketing research.

    His current position is CEO of Appen Butler Hill, a linguistic technology solutions company, where he will finish up at the end of January.

    Looking ahead to his latest role in a highly successful corporate career, Mr Pulver said: “I feel privileged and excited to take up this role for the ARU and enter the world of Australian and international Rugby.

    “For 20 years I have been a Chief Executive in a diverse range of industries and now I have the opportunity to focus my efforts on this great game, the game I love.

    “Today there are many exciting investment opportunities that are capable of igniting growth in our game.

    “However, the success of our financial model relies on a passionate and participative supporter base.

    “In the short term the challenge for our team in the ARU headquarters is to work with all the game’s stakeholders to ensure Rugby in Australia powers forward as a unified and energised force.

    “I would like to see the ARU as an innovative and profitable leader in a prosperous global Rugby community.

    “To achieve this I feel there are several guiding principles we need to consider:

    · Never forget that we play a team sport for fun, fitness and friendship;

    · Acknowledge that in our game Character, Integrity and Team First are paramount;

    · Communicate & collaborate relentlessly with all stakeholders to ensure a united approach to achieving our objectives;

    · Support every effort in community Rugby to expand participation in the game, including a focus on encouraging the involvement of women;

    · Embrace Rugby Sevens as a major growth opportunity;

    · In a world where our supporters are distracted by an endless range of entertainment options, we must aim to constantly enhance the our entertainment experience; and

    · Maintain a high performance culture to be the No. 1 team in the world.

    “2013 is going to be a wonderful year for Australian Rugby with 14 Test matches scheduled for the Wallabies, including the British & Irish Lions, The Rugby Championship, the Bledisloe Cup and the Spring tour to Europe to wrap it all up.

    “With tens of thousands of British and Irish tourists about to invade our shores for a very special event that occurs just once every 12 years, I urge all Australian supporters to purchase tickets for the entire family when they go on sale on Monday 18 February.

    “Help make sure that the gold of our supporters outnumber the red army of the Lions’ fans at every game.”

    Mr Pulver is married with four children.”

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    The Crowd Says (69)

    • January 9th 2013 @ 2:11pm
      kingplaymaker said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

      Well, let’s see what the future holds. As Bill Pulver has been proven to read the Roar he doubtless knows what everyone here thinks the ARU should do anyway.

      • Columnist

        January 9th 2013 @ 2:41pm
        Brett McKay said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

        Don’t think that was Bill Pulver that read The Roar, KPM, that was Uncle’s man Bill Calcraft…

    • January 9th 2013 @ 2:23pm
      RugbyThinker said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

      Blimey strange appointment – jobs for the boys? Former Shore and Sydney University bloke who lives in Mosman. ARU/NSWRU stereotype? Word on street there were more suitable candidates with far stronger sports business backgrounds….ARU missed a big opportunity.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 2:28pm
        p.Tah said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

        So which non-rugby poster is RugbyThinker? any guesses?

        President and Chairman of significant Sports Marketing and internet media research companies and is strongly connected to grassroots rugby. Pretty good credentials to me.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 3:20pm
          p.Tah said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

          I take back my comment that you are a ‘non-rugby poster” i’ve just read some of your previous comment son this site. Apologies.

    • Roar Guru

      January 9th 2013 @ 2:29pm
      Jiggles said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

      This smells like business as usual in the Bunker at St. Leonard’s… I cant really where his sport administrative experience is supposed to have come from.

      • Columnist

        January 9th 2013 @ 2:38pm
        Brett McKay said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

        Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, Jiggles. If the ARU brought in a career sports administrator, the criticsm would’ve been that they really needed someone with business nous…

        • Roar Guru

          January 9th 2013 @ 4:09pm
          Jiggles said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

          Not sure why a sports administrator can’t have business nous…

          He seems like an executive who has a interest in Rugby. What does he really know about running a code though?

          • January 9th 2013 @ 8:13pm
            Justin2 said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

            And building it and a number of other things that a sporting code requires.

            I hope he does well but from the outside Carmichael would have turned the game on its head…

            • Roar Guru

              January 9th 2013 @ 9:57pm
              Jiggles said | January 9th 2013 @ 9:57pm | ! Report

              I really see this as another inside the tent old boys selection. I really hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 2:31pm
      Colvin said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

      He doesn’t look like a real rugby man to me. He doesn’t seem to have cauliflower ears, broken nose and one joined up eyebrow. He’s too pretty. Hope to be proved wrong that a pretty boy can do the job.

      • Roar Guru

        January 9th 2013 @ 2:35pm
        AlBo said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

        I… ummm… wha’?

      • January 9th 2013 @ 3:15pm
        jameswm said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

        Maybe he was a back.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 3:22pm
          Atawhai Drive said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

          He was a halfback. He has no visible scars, so the UNSW forwards must have done a good job of protecting him.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 3:35pm
            jameswm said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

            He played for UNSW? SO did I – and AGAINST Mosman.

            • Roar Guru

              January 10th 2013 @ 8:51pm
              sheek said | January 10th 2013 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

              The Old Golds, ehhhh…..

      • January 9th 2013 @ 8:41pm
        nickoldschool said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

        pretty boy huh? looks a bit like Paul fatty Vautin to me.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 10:18pm
          Colvin said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:18pm | ! Report

          Well, he seems to have made the right noises so far. But he has a lot going against him. He was a BACK!

          We all know about backs. They’re the pretty ones. They stand behind where the work is being done, posing for the crowd and media and prancing about in most cases nowhere near the ball. They get all the glory, score most of the tries, don’t end up with lifelong rugby symbols of valour on their faces proudly earned through work at the coalface. It’s even been heard of for some backs to wear makeup. In the old days backs ended up as lawyers and doctors and we all know what we think about lawyers, in particular.

          But let’s give him a chance. The fact that it is his dream job is a plus. He wants to make the WBs world number 1 in the short term. That’s a plus. As a AB tragic all I can say is bring it on, Bill.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 11:06pm
        Nowared said | January 9th 2013 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

        well he has a much better playing track record than his predecessor who was a lower grade winger for Easts

        don’t know what’s wrong with some of you people – his credentials are impeccable – pointless being shitty because he was educated at a private school – The NRL would would love to be able to attract candidates of his quality

    • January 9th 2013 @ 2:36pm
      Sailosi said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:36pm | ! Report

      A sad day for Aussie rugby. An opportunity lost I think. Hopefully proven wrong.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • January 9th 2013 @ 3:23pm
        PM said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

        You should probably qualify your comment. What do you know that we don’t?

        • January 9th 2013 @ 6:01pm
          Sailosi said | January 9th 2013 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

          I guess i thought it was an opportunity to go away from somebody with a rugby background.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 2:38pm
      Johnno said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

      To be honest I am going to give Bill Pulver the benefit of the doubt and a wait and see approach.
      And his rugby background is much larger than you’d think.
      Certainly better than the new NRL CEO’s rugby league background, and by a massive massive way.

      Bill Pulver aged 53. Went to shore. He made one of the GPS rugby rep sides in his time at school .
      So he has had a life long link with the game and importantly from a young age.
      His son played for aussy schoolboys in 2012 as a halfback.
      Done a bit of junior coaching down at Mosman, . He has been part of the game a long time

      Went to a GPS school, so is very familiar with the culture of rugby in OZ.

      He has a sports marketing background at some part of his career,.
      Has lived in many different parts of the World.
      Is a proven CEO, in many broad industries.

      A lot of the info I got from the ARU website

      I will give him the benefit of the doubt here. I would of liked the QLD guy to get the job, or even the brumbies bloke.
      But this guy has some credentials, and is a rugby man, unlike the new NRL ceo, who hasn’t had anything to do with rugby league in the past.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 3:26pm
        PM said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

        Agree with your post Johnno, well said.

        I’m positive about this appointment, his words hit the right tune for me.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 3:34pm
          Johnno said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

          I agree PM,and it could be a lot worse, we could still have JON and Nucifora running the show.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 4:32pm
            Gekko said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

            Johnno i couldn’t help but recall several comments you have made on JON referring to his blue blood/ GPS/ private school/ elitist/ blazer gang background….. yet Pulver looks to be of the exact same cut of cloth (also having complete allegiance with the Chairman as part of the ‘old boy’ gang) and yet you have not issue with it this time.

            inconsistent with your criticism ?

            • January 9th 2013 @ 4:45pm
              Johnno said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

              Geeko I am cut frm the same cloth, the same gang lol. I was a CAS boy, so played all the GPS schools in trials, I am actually 1 of them, just an informant doing undercover work lol.
              No just joking, . But i was a CAS boy, so am cut format he same cloth as went to one of these type of private schools. I don’t really care if they went to a private school as I did go to a private school and a public school, in my primary and high school time,. For me it if they are right for the job.
              Bill Pulvar is 8 years younger than JON.
              Not a massive age gap but a little one. He is from a rugby background, he has talked the good take about development sort of anyway.
              He hasn’t gone into any specifics about strategic plans and how this development will happen, he has not even started the job yet.
              I don’t care if they have a GPS background as long as they are forwad thinking.
              Not everyone from these schools are backward in there approach, some are some aren’t, just like public schools.
              And I said a wait and see approach on him, time will tell.

              • January 9th 2013 @ 5:21pm
                True Fan said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

                I agree with Gekko. You were scathing of JON on a number of issues Johnno and I thought JON was an outstanding CEO. I am going to give Pulver time to perform before judging him, but I am guessing it won’t be long before you be just as critical as him.

                As a side, Pulver and Hawker went to school together. Not only that, they are great friends. This is public. How did Hawker conduct interviews and how could he remain impartial?? There would have been some fantastic cantidates.

                I can see that Pulver may simply be a yes man to Hawker. How is Pulver to negotiate the SANZAR telecast deal when it eventually approaches? He has no experience in rugby other than watching a test now and again.

                But I will let him prove himself. That is fair

              • January 9th 2013 @ 5:34pm
                Johnno said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

                True fan when JON resigned, shortly after he even admitted more work could be done at grass roots rugby, and everyone was to blame to for neglecting grass roots rugby.

                True fan he does have a sports marketing background, and working out statistics is not that complicated. And all thee jobs now they have many advisors. He is also a failry intelligent man, who will pick up this stuff naturally, as he does have a cep background . So understands things like target markets, demographics, statistics, and advertising deals etc, very well i’d assume.
                And he has a rugby background , has coached a junior rugby level, played rugby at school was in the 1st 15 and GPS rep teams, and his son was an ausys schoolboy last year, so he is part of the rugby scene, unlike the new NRL ceo who has never had anything to do with rugby league.
                I think he is a good choice and i am giving it a wait and see approach, but questions should be answered about how much of a say did Mick Hawker have as he went to school with him they are only 1 year apart, and would of played 1st 15 rugby together, as Bill Pulver wa sin the 1st 15 for 2 years.

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