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People on the move: Celtic, Leeds United, Moody Center and more

Peter Lawwell has retired as chief executive of Scottish Premiership football club Celtic and has been replaced by Dominic McKay, the current chief operating officer of the Scottish Rugby Union.

Lawwell had held the role for the past 17 years. Under his stewardship, Celtic has won 29 trophies, including 13 league titles and four domestic trebles. McKay, who also serves as chairman of rugby union’s Pro14 league, will assume the chief executive role at Celtic upon Lawwell’s retirement on July 1.

McKay, a Celtic supporter, joined Scottish Rugby in January 2008 as director of communications and public affairs before taking on a broader portfolio of group responsibilities in 2011 and stepping up as chief operating officer in 2015.

McKay said: “I look forward to working with Peter and the board to ensure a seamless transition. In Peter Lawwell, I can think of no better example to follow. His experience and leadership have been the cornerstones of Celtic’s success, success that I will now look to build on going forward. I thank him and the wider board for their support and encouragement.”

Paraag Marathe, president of 49ers Enterprises, has been named vice-chairman of Premier League football club Leeds United.

The move comes after 49ers Enterprises, which is affiliated with the San Francisco 49ers NFL team, increased its minority ownership stake in Leeds to 37%.

49ers Enterprises’ latest investment builds on a strategic partnership and equity stake initiated in 2018, when the entity purchased 15% of Leeds from Andrea Radrizzani, the chairman and controlling owner of the club.

Moving forward, Marathe will be more involved in the decision-making process and day-to-day operations of Leeds. With the 49ers, Marathe has served as executive vice-president of football operations, chief operating officer and team president, and oversaw the design and construction process of the franchise’s Levi’s Stadium.

Oak View Group has announced a number of hires for the under-construction Moody Center arena (pictured) in Austin, Texas.

Michael Owens will serve as vice-president of booking at the 10,000-seat arena, which will be the home of the University of Texas at Austin’s basketball team. Owens previously worked as assistant general manager of Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.

Veronica Cantu has also been named vice-president of marketing at Moody Center, which is expected to open in 2022, while Tim Vogt has been hired as vice-president of arena operations and Ansel Gardiner will serve as director of finance.

Brendan Morris, chief operating officer at SANZAAR, the governing body of rugby union in the southern hemisphere, has been named the new chief executive of the body.

Morris replaces Andy Marinos, who recently left SANZAAR to become chief executive of Rugby Australia.

Marcelo Rodriguez, president of the Argentina Rugby Union (UAR), has also been named chairman of SANZAAR. Rodriguez will assume the role for 12 months and replaces Brent Impey, who stepped down from the position at the end of 2020.

John Cooper has been promoted to general counsel for Endeavor’s experiences, rights and events businesses, overseeing the legal practices of the IMG agency’s media and events groups, Endeavor Streaming, 160over90, On Location, IMG Licensing and IMG Performance.

Cooper joined IMG in 2015 and has since supported Endeavor’s efforts to deliver innovative deal-making across content and events. Cooper joined IMG from Turner Broadcasting, where he served as senior vice-president and associate general counsel for TBS, TNT, truTV, Turner Classic Movies and Turner Sports.

Australian NRL rugby league club Melbourne Storm has appointed Justin Rodski as its new chief executive.

Rodski joins Storm after spending 10 years with AFL Aussie rules football club Essendon FC, where he most recently worked as chief commercial and customer officer. He will begin his new role on February 15.

Stephan Poelmans has started a new role as manager of strategic partnerships at Belgian Pro League football club KRC Genk.

Poelmans has been at the club for more than 20 years and previously served as commercial director.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing news.editor@thestadiumbusiness.com and we’ll include it in our next round-up.

Image: UT Austin