The Gold Coast Titans have announced respected sporting administrator Steve Mitchell will take over as the club’s new CEO, replacing Graham Annesley at the helm.
Mitchell, who is the current CEO of Touch Football Australia, won’t join the club until February.
The 49-year-old beat a strong field of highly qualified national and international candidates, from both within the game and from the broader business community, to replace Annesley, who announced he was leaving the club in August to take up the role of Head of Football in the NRL.
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NRL CEO Todd Greenberg applauded the advances Mitchell had made in strengthening the NRL and the TFA alliance over the past 14 months and said he is looking forward to working with him in his role at the Titans.
The appointment completes what has been a strong period for the Gold Coast, with a number of major sponsors committing long-term, new players in Shannon Boyd, Tyrone Peachey and Brian Kelly and also the addition of Kangaroos’ coach Mal Meninga as Head of Performance and Culture.
Mitchell said he is excited to be joining a ‘club on the rise’.
“I am extremely humbled to be appointed to the role,” Mitchell said.
“Club owners the Frizelle and Kelly families; former CEO Graham Annesley and the board have worked tremendously hard to build the foundations of what promises to be a very exciting future.
“I am looking forward to working with the owners and the board, Mal Meninga, coach Garth Brennan, players and staff to help create an enduring sporting legacy for the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales communities.”
Mitchell has held a number of executive roles, working with the Super Rugby club the Melbourne Rebels, the North Queensland Cowboys, Southern Cross Austereo, Seven Network, News Corporation and Network Ten.
He comes to the club with strong ties to Gold Coast rugby league dating back to the 1920’s, with his grandfather and grand uncles playing for Currumbin, competing in the then South Coast Brisbane League.
Executive Chairman Dennis Watt said he was delighted Mitchell was joining the club.
“It has been heartening to see the response from quality people who want to be part of the club. They all expressed confidence in the club’s future. We are very grateful to them all.”
“The club is in a strong position and Steve’s expertise and drive will strengthen us even further.
“Steve has a very strong commercial background and he also has a strong sporting and rugby league DNA, with a deep understanding of the key drivers for enduring success, including close community engagement.
Watt said he also wished to thank Annesley for his work at the club.
“In his five years here, Graham helped negotiate this club through some tough times so that it now stands on rock-solid foundations,” Watt said.
“With a band of dedicated staff, players and coaches behind us, we are all very much looking forward to working with Steve to ensure that we build on these foundations and become an NRL powerhouse to reward our loyal sponsors, members, fans and supporters.”
Watt will continue as acting CEO until Mitchell begins the role.