Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, an Australian tech mogul worth an estimated $27 billion, has become the latest high-profile owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Joining actor Russell Crowe and businessman James Packer, Cannon-Brookes purchased a one-third share of Blackcourt League Investments, which has owned 75 percent of the club since a restructuring in 2006.
As a result, Crowe and Packer have each reduced their stake to 25 percent through Blackcourt with the South Sydney Members Rugby League Football Club owning the remaining quarter of the Rabbitohs.
Cannon-Brookes, who became the first Australian minority owner of an NBA team when he acquired a stake in the Utah Jazz last year, is a renowned philanthropist and climate change advocate.
The co-chief executive of Atlassian, a software company, Cannon-Brookes is also a rusted-on South Sydney supporter.
“I’m excited and humbled to be a part of this iconic club. The South Sydney Rabbitohs are special. Not only are we the oldest, loudest and proudest – we are an organisation people truly, deeply care about,” the 41-year-old said in a statement.
“I’m looking forward to partnering with Russell and James and bringing what I can to the table to help the club grow to even greater heights.”
Crowe and Cannon-Brookes have formed a friendship that began with their shared passion for climate issues during Australia’s horror 2019-20 bushfire season.
“I’m sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed to South Sydney Members and supporters that Mike wears a white Rabbitohs hat for special occasions,” Crowe said.
“This is a very strong move for the club.
“It connects us to the front edge of emerging technologies and business and underlines the importance of our efforts in the community.
“Mike understands the resonance of sport in Australia, and James and I welcome his input going forward in keeping South Sydney ahead of the curve, and a game leading organisation, on and off the field.”
Packer welcomed Cannon-Brookes aboard and said the Rabbitohs are in a strong position on and off the field following their grand final appearance against the Panthers.
“Souths have had an outstanding year as a football club, with an even brighter future ahead,” Packer said.
“I am really pleased that Mike is joining us, because I know how committed he is to the community. He will be a big asset and supporter of South Cares and all the important work they do.
“I look forward to working with Mike, Russell, the Board and Blake’s (CEO Blake Solly) team to write the next chapter of Rabbitoh success.”
Souths chairman Nick Pappas added: “We welcome Mike Cannon-Brookes to the Rabbitohs with his investment in Blackcourt.
“Mike is world-renowned for his business acumen and his philanthropy, both of which will provide great opportunity for the Rabbitohs.
“This is the big end of town we spoke about when our original investors first made their contributions in this form in 2006.
“Couple this with the passion and unwavering support of our 30,000-plus members, it’s there for all to see that we are in great hands for the long term.”