EPL Relaunching CEO Search After Susanna Dinnage Backs Out
The EPL has been "forced to launch a fresh search" for a CEO after Susanna Dinnage pulled out "before even taking up the post," according to Matt Dickinson of the LONDON TIMES. Dinnage agreed in November to succeed former CEO Richard Scudamore, but "stunned" the EPL by saying that she had "decided to remain as a television executive instead." Dinnage's "reasons for changing her mind have yet to become fully apparent" (LONDON TIMES, 12/31). In London, Tom Morgan wrote the EPL was "dealt a major embarrassment" with Dinnage backing out. The world's "richest domestic football competition is now facing a race against time to recruit a new long-term boss." Interim CEO Richard Masters "will remain" in the meantime. The EPL is also searching for a new Chair, who will likely "work on a part-time basis." Claudia Arney is currently "filling the role on an interim basis" (London TELEGRAPH, 12/31). Morgan noted BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie has "emerged as the frontrunner" for the position, after he "narrowly missed out on the job when Dinnage was appointed." Sources said that Davie will now be "approached again" after Dinnage's "change of heart" (London TELEGRAPH, 12/31).
SUDDEN MESS: In N.Y., Tariq Panja noted Dinnage would have "instantly become one of the most powerful women in sports had she taken" the role. The EPL said that a nominations committee that had spent months searching for Scudamore's replacement has "reconvened and is already talking to candidates." Panja: "The sudden messiness surrounding the search is embarrassing for an organization that prides itself on getting its business done with little fuss" (NYTIMES.com, 12/30). Dinnage's television experience was "seen as a key asset in the current era of blockbuster rights' deals and a diverging market" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/31).
BLINDSIDED BY BACK-OUT: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Joshua Robinson noted that several club execs who had voted in favor of Dinnage's appointment said that they were "blindsided by her decision to reject the job." A source said that many club owners were "dissatisfied with how the appointment was handled." Some owners "had no idea DInnage was in the running until the day they were asked to vote on her confirmation." The source said that some club execs are now "pushing to expedite the process and avoid repeating the kind of search that landed them in this position" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/31).