Former head of linguistic technology vendor Appen Butler Hill, Bill Pulver, has become the new CEO of Australian Rugby Union.
He starts in February following the resignation of John O’Neill in October.
This is the second time a technology-related head honcho has taken a top role in the sporting arena following Data#3 managing director, John Grant’s appointment as the chairman of the Australian Rugby League’s independent commission.
ARU Chairman, Michael Hawker AM, said it was looking for someone with proven commercial success at a CEO level and international business experience.
“The board also set priorities around good communication skills and an understanding of the world of sports marketing and media,” Hawker said. “Bill has all those attributes. He has enjoyed success in large and small businesses, through growth cycles and tough times.”
Pulver has an extensive corporate background across various industries and has previously worked for ACNielsen, NetRatings, Repucom International and was most recently the CEO of Appen Butler Hill.
He maintains strong connections to grassroots rugby, via the Mosman Junior Rugby Club in Sydney, while his second son Angus was the halfback in the 2012 Australian Schoolboys team.
Pulver’s own Rugby career included GPS representation, followed by colts and grade Rugby for University of NSW.