Phil Holden Named New CEO of New Zealand Rugby League

November 21, 2012

New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) have announced Phil Holden has become the new chief executive officer of the national body.

NZRL chairman Scott Carter said that following strong progress in recent years the NZRL is keen to ensure continuity of the game’s reforms and the further development of marketing initiatives to fund grass-roots growth.

“The board has been impressed with the quality of applicants for this CEO role and we’re delighted to have Phil joining us,” said Carter.

“Our next strategic cycle will focus on sustainable structures that embed recent gains and exciting new initiatives that include our bid to co-host the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. Phil has the experience and skill set required in both of these areas.”

“Phil understands sport and communities from many angles. Through his various roles he has been sponsored and a sponsor, and both funded and a funder.”

Described as a charismatic values-based leader, Holden comes with a reputation of being able to build good relationships at all levels and delivering solid results.

Holden has previously held chief executive officer and general marketing roles with a number of blue chip New Zealand companies, while he also possesses considerable commercial experience in international markets and the hospitality, food and beverage, entertainment, sports and gaming sectors.

He also has a keen interest in sport, having played representative hockey for Southland, Otago, Wellington and Hawke’s Bay, and is a former chairman of the Auckland Diamonds netball franchise.

Holden said he was really excited to be joining the NZRL as CEO in what is a dynamic time for the sport.

“The challenges rugby league faces and the family/community-based proposition of the NZRL were compelling reasons for me wanting this role.

“I feel privileged to be given this opportunity and I look forward to working closely with the board to build on the fantastic work delivered to date.”