England 2015 appoint former ice cream salesman as new chairman
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
March 21 - Andrew Cosslett, the former chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has been officially appointed as the chairman of the 2015 World Cup by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), it was announced today.
He had held the post on an interim basis since Martyn Thomas stood down in December.
England Rugby 2015 is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RFU, set up as the body to deliver the Rugby World Cup.
Cosslett, 56, will take up his full-time role next month and will lead the England Rugby 2015 board along with chief executive Paul Vaughan.
"I am passionate about the game and delighted to be able to play my part in delivering Rugby World Cup 2015," said Cosslett.
"England 2015 is a great challenge but a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to working with [chief executive] Paul Vaughan, England Rugby 2015, the Rugby Football Union and Rugby World Cup Limited to deliver what we intend to be the best Rugby World Cup yet."
Cosslett spent the last six years as chief executive of IHG, stepping down last March, having overseen a $1 billion (£603 million/€757 million), four-year relaunch of the Holiday Inn franchise, which the group own.
While at IHG he also help negogiate the company's sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
He was also a board member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council, a member of the President's Committee of the Confederation of British Industry and a Board member of the International Tourism Partnership.
Before that, Cosslett spent 14 years in senior management roles with Cadbury Schweppes.
The Manchester University graduate had begun his business career in 1979 as a trainee selling Walls ice cream.
"I am sure Andy Cosslett will make a great chairman for England Rugby 2015," said Vaughan.
"The international business and marketing skills that he brings to the board will continue to be invaluable in his new role as chairman.
"He has great empathy with the game and I think we will make a great team."
The England2015 Board also includes new RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie, RFU chief financial officer Stephen Brown, Professional Game Board chairman Ian Metcalfe, Injured Players Foundation chairman and former RFU president John Owen, RFU council member and chairman of the Championship Clubs Geoff Irvine and permanent secretary in the cabinet office and the Government's chief operating officer Ian Watmore, the former chief executive of the English Football Association.