Australian Rugby Union MD and CEO John O’Neill will leave his post on 31 October to concentrate on his business commitments outside of rugby.
O’Neill was CEO of the ARU from 1995 to 2003 and stepped down after successfully organising the 2003 World Cup. He then spent three years at the head of Football Federation Australian before returning to the ARU in 2007.
He had originally planned to retire towards the end of 2013 after the tour to Australia by the British & Irish Lions, but has decided to bring his departure forward.
‘John’s workload beyond rugby has recently grown significantly, and unexpectedly, through his chairmanship of [casino company] Echo Entertainment,’ said ARU chairman Michael Hawker. ‘John had previously indicated he was standing down when his contract ended next year, so the timing of his resignation is now logical for both him and the ARU.’