The Sharks (Pty) Ltd has announced that John Smit, as expected, has been appointed as the new CEO.
Smit will effectively start 1 July 2013 with the plan being to sit with current CEO Brian van Zyl until he retires at the end of February 2014.
The following is from the Sharks Press release on the matter:
Durban, 16 April 2013: The Board of Directors of The Sharks (Pty) Ltd are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr John Smit as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Sharks (Pty) Ltd, effective 1st July 2013. John takes over the reins from current CEO, Mr Brian van Zyl who will mentor John until his pre-agreed retirement date of 28th February 2014.
Having joined The Sharks on the 1st February 1994, Brian van Zyl will have served The Sharks with distinction for 20 years. With his sound administration and business knowledge, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that The Sharks have become not only one of the most financially sound unions but also a sporting brand of international acclaim. He has commanded the respect of the South African Rugby Union, team management, past and present players, staff of The Sharks (Pty) Ltd and the other stakeholders whom he has interacted with over the years.
Mr Stephen Saad, the Chairman of The Sharks Board of Directors, says, “On behalf of the Board of The Sharks (Pty) Ltd, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brian for his invaluable contribution to The Sharks. His knowledge, experience and understanding of the game and its administration is outstanding. At the end of his tenure, he leaves The Sharks in good stead and we salute him for the many years of dedication, commitment and service that he has given, not only to The Sharks (Pty) Ltd, but to rugby in South Africa.
“In the past 2 decades under his stewardship, The Sharks have become the most followed provincial rugby franchise in the southern hemisphere. He has the respect of both supporters and adversaries alike. Brian, we salute your unwavering service to The Sharks and thank you for your continued support including the mentorship of John.”
“John Smit’s appointment marks the dawn of a new and exciting era at The Sharks (Pty) Ltd,” said Saad. We look forward to welcoming the favourite son of South African Rugby to his new role as CEO.
The Sharks Head Coach, John Plumtree has stated, “On behalf of team management and the players, I extend our congratulations to John on his appointment. Over the years, many of us have shared special memories with John and we look forward to working with and supporting him in his new capacity.”
The Sharks current CEO, Brian van Zyl has said, “I wish to congratulate John on his appointment and wish him the very best in his new role. He was an inspirational captain and team man and I know that I leave The Sharks in good hands. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of The Sharks (Pty) Ltd, stakeholders and my staff for their assistance and support over the years. I have a few months to go before retirement and will use this time to ensure that the black and white baton is securely placed in John’s hands and so contribute to the successful Sharks legacy. I leave a proud man.”
Stephen Saad concluded by saying, “John is currently playing for Saracens in England and upon his return to South Africa, The Sharks will hold a press conference.”
By Richard Ferguson