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People on the move: Everton, Bath Rugby and more

Featured image credit: Biloblue/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Premier League football club Everton has announced that chief stadium development officer Colin Chong will step up as interim chief executive following the departure of Denise Barrett-Baxendale, while Bill Kenwright will continue as chairman.

Chong has been focusing on the delivery of Everton’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and has also been responsible for the operational management of the club’s business headquarters.

Barrett-Baxendale had served as Everton’s chief executive since June 2018, having previously been deputy chief executive. At the time of her departure, Everton said a decision would be made on the future of Kenwright and it has now been confirmed that he will continue during a “period of transition”.

Everton has also announced that James Maryniak, its director of finance, will take charge of all finance matters as interim chief finance officer. Grant Ingles, Everton’s previous chief finance and strategy officer, left the club earlier this month when Barrett-Baxendale departed.

Everton also confirmed that majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri will join its board as a non-executive director alongside chartered accountant John Spellman. The appointments are subject to normal Premier League approvals.

Moshiri said: “I wanted Bill to remain as our chairman during this important period of transition for the club and I am delighted that he has accepted my request to do so. Bill’s knowledge and vast experience will be crucial for us as we look to reset, deliver on external investment and position Everton for a successful future.  

“In John, we have an experienced finance professional who has held chief executive and senior finance roles for international firms and I welcome him to the club. In Colin and James, we have two experienced senior club professionals who have agreed to take on enhanced roles on an interim basis, and who we know can and will deliver immediately.”

Gené Willis has started a new role as head of operations at Bath Rugby.

Willis started her new role last week after spending over seven years with former Premiership club Worcester Warriors. She joined the Warriors as safety officer in April 2016 before adding the roles of head of operations, head of sustainability and COVID-19 manager to her responsibilities.

She joins Bath with the club in the midst of a major redevelopment of the Recreation Ground. The Stadium for Bath project proposes a new 18,000-capacity stadium to be built on the site of the existing venue.

Willis will be attending this week’s TheStadiumBusiness Summit at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. Ahead of the event, she shared her thoughts on the current state of the stadium and events marketplace, along with the latest on the Stadium for Bath project.

Coventry Building Society Arena, home of Championship football club Coventry City, has announced a trio of appointments within its business development team.

Lee Griffiths, Paula Young and Josh Brown have all joined the stadium as business development managers and will be tasked with expanding the venue’s business on a national scale and cultivating relationships with agencies across the conference, exhibition and meeting sectors.

Griffiths has previously worked with the likes of Bespoke Hotels, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club and Novotel Hotels. Young has worked in sales, meetings and events for major hotel groups for the past 20 years, while Brown began his career in events as a sales executive for Nuneaton Borough and then spent nine years working in recruitment.

Griffiths joins CBS Arena as business development manager for agencies, while Young and Brown will serve as national business development managers.

Shah-Zeib Ahmed, the former head of ticketing for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 in England, has joined Super League club Salford Red Devils as a co-opted director following a rigorous recruitment process in collaboration with the Rugby Football League and Inclusive Boards.

Ahmed has provided consultancy services for numerous clients in the ticketing space, including football’s global governing body FIFA.

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.