These Province CEO job specs are a real revelation
It has been more than a year – 31 January 2020 was when Paul Zacks stepped down – that Western Province Professional Rugby (Pty) Ltd has been without a Chief Executive Officer.
That position has finally gone to market this week.
Yes, the advertisement for the assignment was eventually placed on Thursday.
Initially, a general business committee was appointed to handle the professional side of the game in Cape Town – compromising two representatives from the company’s shareholder (Western Province Rugby Football Union) and two independent directors from the company.
By the latter part of 2020 – in the wake of all the boardroom disaccord – the only remaining member of that committee was WPRFU President Zelt Marais.
In effect, he was left in control of both the amateur arm (WPRFU) and the professional arm (WPPR).
There was a big split in December – when the professional arm, under the guidance of new Chairman Ebrahim Rasool, decided to separate the ‘powers and functions’ of the union (WPRFU) and the company (WPPR).
Despite this move, the appointment of a CEO, to take charge of WPPR, has been a bone of contention for months and the decision to suspend a leading candidate like Junaid Moerat added further intrigue to an already inflamed situation.
Against this background, the specifications for the position of CEO – as contained in the advertisement – makes for very interesting reading.
It is a five-year contract.
Applicants will know by May 31 if they are in the running – or, at the very least, have met the requirements.
However, it is in the wording – when considering the requirements – that you realise some prospective applicants may be left in the starting blocks.
It may also suggest that you perpend the rumours that people with close ties to Marais may be more than just ‘dark horses’.
Here is the bolter. Don’t be surprised if the name of former Southern Spears CEO Tony McKeever suddenly becomes more prominent in the Newlands grapevine.
Those whispers – untested as they are – suddenly don’t seem so far-fetched when you see the wording of the job specs.
For one, applicants must have ‘proven experience and success as a Chief Executive Officer or at Senior Executive level’.
Another requirement is that applicants must have the ability to deal with a high level of public scrutiny.
They must also have – as a minimum – a bachelors degree in commerce, sports management or other related fields, while a post-graduate qualification will be a distinct advantage.
Then they must have a high level of influencing ability.
The job will require the successful applicant to ‘develop WPPR into an outstanding sporting organisation’ and ensure the foundations are in place to ‘consistently win on the field’ while delivering a return to shareholders.
Advertising the position is only the beginning of the process and – given the curious and extraordinary workings of the WPRFU/WPPR boardroom – a lot will happen in the next month.
The power struggles we have seen in the last few years will ensure the Cape Town franchise will continue to be as entertaining off the field as it has been on it.
And the mutable nature of officials means the final result is never a given.
See the full CEO job specs below …
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