Rugby Executive Mark Darbon Appointed CEO Of The R&A

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — The R&A has appointed sports executive Mark Darbon as its CEO, where he brings a background in rugby and organizing the London Olympics to a role overseeing two majors and governing the rules of golf.

Darbon replaces Martin Slumbers, who is retiring after 10 years.

Darbon, 45, most recently was CEO of Northampton Saints, a premiership rugby club. He has an extensive background in sports, marketing and sponsorship dating to 2009 and was a senior member of the London organizing committee for the 2012 Olympics.

He oversaw the Olympic Park, which held nine competition venues with 20,000 employees and 250,000 spectators during the London Games. Darbon went on to serve as an expert adviser to the International Olympic Committee for the following five years.

The R&A operates the British Open and the Women’s British Open and governs rules everywhere in the world except for the United State and Mexico.

Niall Farquharson, the R&A chairman, said the search committee was impressed with Darbon’s “knowledge and experience of the global sport industry and his ability to develop successful teams and deliver fantastic events.”

Darbon will assume his duties in November.