Nigel Short is to hand over the reins as Chairman of the Scarlets after nine years in the role.
Nigel will remain an integral member of the Board, having been a driving force in strengthening the Scarlets on and off the field in recent years. He will also continue to represent the Scarlets on the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) until further notice.
Following a comprehensive search and recruitment process, Simon Muderack has been appointed Executive Chairman and is starting the process of handover with immediate effect.
Born and bred in Five Roads, Llanelli and a product of Furnace County Primary School School and Llandovery College, a degree in Business Administration from Bath University and nine years with Accenture led Simon to a successful career in the technology sector, founding and building Tribold before integrating with Sigma Systems, then selling Sigma Systems to Hansen Technologies and taking on the CEO role for the global Hansen Communications division.
Nigel replaced Huw Evans as Chairman in 2011 and under his tenure the Scarlets have established themselves as one of the leading sides in the Guinness PRO14; providing 11 players to the Wales squad that reached the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup. PRO12 champions in 2016-17, Scarlets were finalists the following year when they also reached the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup.
Scarlets have also made significant strides off the field, driven by a Board committed to ensuring the club enjoys a sustainable future, while dedicated to the development of home-grown talent.
“For me, the really important part of this change is that it truly illustrates the maturity of the business we now have and the remarkable strength in depth of our Board,” said Nigel.
“Right now, the staggering and tragic impact of the pandemic continues to be a massive challenge for everyone involved in the club, together with our supporters, partners and suppliers and there is no doubt the next 18 months will be critical for the business, but it remains our belief that the next five years will bring a great deal of positive change and significant opportunity to the game we love.
“As the structures of the sport evolve rapidly, every role in the business, especially that of Chairman, requires ever more time and energy to manage increasing complexity and ensure we take every opportunity the growing reach of the game presents.
“As with our playing squad, the Board continually evaluates how we can improve our own performance and utilise our strengths effectively, making sure we have robust governance and succession planning across the business.
“Our review at the end of last year concluded we should now take the significant step of appointing a professional Chairman with the skillset and experience to build on the stable platform we now have and can dedicate the time to lead the Club through its next stage of growth.
“The tremendous level of interest in the role over the last six months has been both heartening and humbling, a real illustration of the affection and respect for the Club within the UK and the wider world of rugby.
“Throughout a rigorous recruitment process, Simon has been the stand-out candidate, offering the combination of an outstanding track record of success in a highly competitive, fast-moving, global business and a deep sense of belonging as a lifelong Scarlet. The entire Board is delighted Simon has joined us and confident that we have an intensely committed and safe pair of hands to take us forward.
“As part of the same process, we set out to strengthen the Board representation with the widest possible rugby experience and will shortly be able to confirm a further appointment that will complete the recruitment identified in our review.
“From a personal point of view, the change in no way diminishes my commitment to the club, but will enable me to devote more time to other duties, providing more support to rugby and particularly development.
“Most of all, it is a great privilege to work within such a committed family of people, so deeply concerned to serve their community with pride and passion. Every member of that family, our people, players, sponsors, supporters and Board share our strong values of respect and humility and are a real inspiration to our wider community.
Reflecting on the highlights of his nine years in the role, Nigel added: “Of course, witnessing the joy of the PRO12 title was a special moment, but I am most proud of the fact that our Board has never wavered in protecting significant investment into our development structures, especially through extremely challenging times financially and even now as we grapple with a catastrophic loss of revenue due to Covid-19.
“It is that philosophy and continuous investment that drives our sustainability and provides the pathway to enable the remarkable seam of talent our small community enjoys to realise their dreams.
“Our contribution to the game in Wales through the number of current and past Scarlets representing our national team, together with the provision of the majority of the Wales coaching group is a source of great pride for our club and community.
“It has been my greatest honour to be a custodian of a great rugby club with almost 150 years of proud history and I really look forward to our continuous evolution on and off the field, ensuring our future is even brighter than our past.”