The Bulls on Friday confirmed the appointment of Edgar Rathbone as their new CEO, replacing Alfons Meyer who resigned last month.
Rathbone, who will start his new job on 1 June, joins from the Lions where he was the managing director of Ellis Park Stadium.
Rathbone had been at the Lions for seven years, starting his rugby journey as head of finance and administration in 2013.
The following year he was appointed chief financial officer, before becoming chief financial and commercial Officer in 2016.
In 2017, he was appointed as the managing director of Ellis Park Stadium where his responsibilities included managing the Ellis Park precinct which includes the rugby stadium, the Johannesburg Stadium, Ellis Park Indoor Arena, as well as the commercial arm of Lions Rugby Company.
"I have always had immense respect for the Bulls and I’m extremely excited about this new chapter in my life. I am sincerely looking forward to getting stuck in and doing my best to add to the legacy of the Bulls family. Even though it’s extremely sad saying goodbye to my colleagues at the Lions, I do look forward to making new friends and partnerships at Loftus," Rathbone commented via a press statement.
Pieter Uys, chairperson of the Blue Bulls Company (BBCo) board, added: "We are extremely excited to welcome Edgar to the Bulls family. He is a vibrant young man, with an extremely dynamic mindset and way of thinking. Edgar is well respected in the rugby industry and has done some phenomenal work with the Lions. We firmly believe that he will play a major role in taking the Bulls brand forward into a new era."
Blue Bulls president Willem Strauss also commented: "From the union's side, we'd also just want extend a warm welcome to Edgar. He's young and vibrant and really impressed during the interviewing process. He has a burgeoning reputation in South African rugby circles."
The Lions, meanwhile, also wished Rathbone well on his future endeavours.
"We understand and support his decision to take up this offer and we are grateful for the many accomplishments under his watch. I look forward to working with him on a new front and know together as CEO’s, although 'competitors', we will always share our passion for the game and longevity for the sport," Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions Rugby Company, said in a statement.
Altmann Allers, owner of Ellis Park Stadium and chairperson of Lions Rugby Company, added: "Edgar joined us during a very challenging time when the Lions just came back into Super Rugby. One of his immediate responsibilities was to get the business back on track commercially through securing additional sponsorships and generating new revenue streams for the Lions. Through hard work and determination, he managed to show positive results within a short period. When Rudolf joined the Lions a few months later, they formed a formidable team which led to countless successes on various levels.
"With his passion and interest in all aspects of rugby, Edgar grew and reached great heights which added value to the Lions. We will miss him and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his already remarkable career," concluded Allers.
Rathbone grew up in Somerset East and spent most of his childhood in the Eastern Cape where he attended Gill College.
He later attended Stellenbosch University where obtained an honours degree in accounting and also played rugby as a scrumhalf for Maties at junior level.
- Compiled by Sport24 staff