Premier League: Susanna Dinnage to succeed Richard Scudamore as chief executive

Susanna Dinnage, a senior executive at US TV network Discovery, has been named as the new Premier League chief executive, becoming the first woman to hold the position.

Dinnage replaces Richard Scudamore at the helm of England’s top tier after he announced in June that he would be stepping down. Scudamore, who was appointed as CEO in November 1999 and later became chair in June 2014, played a leading role in the league’s growth into the richest and most popular domestic club competition in the world.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, Leicester chief executive Susan Whelan and Burnley chairman Mike Garlick led the lengthy recruitment process to find a new chief executive.

Dinnage starts her role early in 2019, with Scudamore set to relinquish his duties at the end of 2018. 

The Premier League has also decided to split Scudamore’s role. With Dinnage as chief executive, the search for a new chair will now commence.

Dinnage, the global president at Discovery’s Animal Planet, has spent more than 20 years working in the television industry. She joined Discovery in 2009 and would later go on to run the company’s business operations in the UK and Ireland, before moving to her current position within the network.

Dinnage also previously worked at Channel Five and last year narrowly missed out on landing the job as chief executive of Channel 4.

Commenting on her appointment, she said: “I am excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role.

“The Premier League means so much to so many people. It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege.

“With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the League for many years to come.”

Buck, chair of the Premier League’s nominations committee, added: “We are very pleased to appoint such a capable leader to this important role.

“We had a very strong field, but Susanna was the outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption.

“She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people. She is ideally suited to the role and we are confident she will be able to take the Premier League on to new heights.

“Richard Scudamore, having provided exceptional stewardship for almost 20 years, will leave us at the end of the year in great shape and with an excellent Executive Team and Board able to fully support Susanna.”

The selection panel are understood to have interviewed senior figures from both the sporting and broadcasting world in recent months.

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