Kevin Roberts back as front-runner to succeed James Sutherland

Operations director Kevin Roberts has resurfaced as the most likely candidate to succeed James Sutherland when the CEO of Cricket Australia leaves office after 17 years.

Just over a week after it appeared that the race had ended John Warn, director of the CA board of directors, and former Cricket New South Wales president John Warn, now Roberts, 46, is considered the First on the list in the midst of a wave of late maneuvers for one of the most important roles in the game. The last word will come whenever the process of long succession is concluded and sometimes internally criticized.

Sutherland's replacement will inherit a newly-crafted cultural review of CA as a whole, prepared by corporate ethicist Simon Longstaff, and also a review of the Australian men's team followed the Newlands ball-handling scandal, led by former test starter, Rick McCosker. The findings of both reviews are also online for imminent publication.

CA President David Peever, who has the Board's approval in principle to continue in his position for another three years until the reelection of the state associations in CA AGM in October: he is an enthusiastic sponsor of Roberts. He also strongly hinted at an internal replacement the day Sutherland formally announced his resignation in early June with a 12-month notice.

"This is an incredibly complex job, it has many dimensions," Peever said at the time. "What we have to do is find the best person for the position, although I do not want to put any restrictions on it, it's a role for Cricket Australia, so we probably have a bit of bias towards an Australian, and it's a role in cricket. , so we probably have a bias towards someone in cricket. "

Prior to that announcement, CA Board Director Bob Every had resigned in protest over Peever's plans to remain as president, listing the succession planning for Sutherland among numerous reasons for his decision. "The list is long, but in my opinion, his handling of the MoU, negotiations with the media, his resignation & # 39; false & # 39; and particularly his handling of succession planning for the CEO leave much to be desired", wrote each one in an email, according to Australian .

A former NSW batter with two centuries for the state team to his credit, Roberts graduated in corporate roles with apparel companies Adidas, a former CA supplier and apparel supplier, and Colorado, before serving as chief 2XU executive. At the end of 2012, he and Peever and Jacqui Hey were jointly appointed as the first independent directors on the CA Board, following a historic change of government to convert the Board of a group of 14 delegates appointed by the state into nine independent directors. .

Appeared as the heir of Sutherland when he left the Board of Directors to become executive general manager of strategy, people and culture at the end of 2015, and established the type of task historically associated with the CEOs in waiting when he was appointed chief negotiator for the governing body in its salary negotiations with the Australian Association of Cricket Players.

These conversations, in which CA attempted to divide the percentage fixed income model into the center of all collective agreements between the Board and the players since 1998, degenerated into a full-fledged dispute, and all players were left without payment for almost a month when the existing MoU expired at the end of June of last year. Roberts appeared in a couple of videos trying to sell CA's preferred model, which replaced revenue sharing with a capped bonus system, initially restricted to the best international players, but then expanded to also include cricketers national These releases were not well received by the players.

With a South African Australia A tour canceled and a test time in Bangladesh, Roberts was excluded from the talks with ACA executive director Alistair Nicholson, leaving the final commitment to be mediated by Sutherland and the performance manager of the team, Pat Howard. Concerns about the possibility of the dispute spreading to the home The summer of Ashes forced the then Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to make an odd appeal to leaders on both sides of the divide. However, Roberts has had a growing responsibility bestowed upon him, including a role as the CA executive commissioned to be the primary contact for all state associations. Roberts was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer shortly before Sutherland announced his imminent departure, a position that the CEO had never considered as part of the CA structure.

He is seen by his followers as a dynamic executive, given the speedy decision-making and support for strategic decisions in the areas of programming and financing to the states to increase participation numbers in particular. It is also believed that Roberts' hard-line approach was judged justified by an internal review of California.

Other interested candidates have included NSW Chief Executive Andrew Jones and the Executive Chairman of the Australian Cricket Association at various stages. Christina Matthews Warn resigned his position in NSW and also his executive position at the Westfield shopping center company earlier this year, and a vacancy for the position of executive director of SCG Trust is also emerging. Harnden has been in parallel negotiations over the possible extension of his term as president of the Melbourne Grand Prix Corporation.


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