Six Nations appoints former English cricket chief Tom Harrison as new CEO

Former English cricket chief Tom Harrison has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the Six Nations.

Harrison stepped down as CEO of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in May 2022 after a seven-year stint at the head of the governing body.

He replaces the outgoing Ben Morel, who is departing the Six Nations for a role in French football after five years in charge.

“The Six Nations Rugby Championships stand alongside the most famous and treasured competitions in sport,” Harrison, who will begin his role at the start of March before taking over fully from Morel in April, said.

“They are rich in history and have an enduring appeal with fans all over the world. It’s a huge privilege to join the organisation and play a part in the continued development of this celebrated brand and to serve rugby union more widely.

“There is a real momentum within the organisation, and I am really looking forward to working with the wider team, collaborating with each union and federation, and supporting the enviable roster of broadcast and commercial partners.”

Harrison played cricket professionally for Northamptonshire and Derbyshire and joined the ECB after working extensively in media rights.

During his time in charge of the ECB, Harrison negotiated a significant uplift in the value of the orgnaisation’s broadcasting deals, trebling revenues during his seven years.

However the introduction of flagship short-form tournament The Hundred proved heavily divisive, while Harrison was also criticised after he and a number of senior executives shared a bonus of £2.1 million a year after making 62 job cuts due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Tom joins Six Nations Rugby at a hugely exciting time for the organisation, the sport, and its fans,” Ronan Dunne, Six Nations Rugby chairman, said. “He brings with him a wealth of experience that is going to be instrumental in helping meet the ambitions and goals of the business, and I am looking forward to working with him to achieve these.”

Morel’s oversaw a number of significant developments during his time with the organisation, including the introduction of a standalone window and lead sponsor for the Women’s Six Nations and a broadcast deal with Amazon Prime Video for the remodelled Autumn Nations Series.

He also helped to broker the investment deal with CVC Capital Partners, who bought a 14.3% share in the Six Nations for £365m in 2021.

CVC are also backers of the new French club football commercial body that Morel will now head up.

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