November 13 - Kit McConnell is joining the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as its new sports director, leaving his current role as head of the Rugby World Cup, it was announced today.
The 40-year-old New Zealander will replace Christophe Dubi, due to become the new IOC's Executive Director of the Olympics when Gilbert Felli retires after Sochi 2014.
McConnell has held his role at the International Rugby Board (IRB) for 10 years having previously worked on the Olympics and Paralympics at Sydney 2000, where he was the operations manager for sports manager.
"It has been a wonderful 10 years at the IRB and it has been an honour and a privilege to have worked alongside so many talented and dedicated people to help deliver some very special Rugby World Cups in Australia , France  and New Zealand  that have played a major part in the growth and profile of rugby worldwide," said McConnell.
The IRB are now looking to appoint a replacement for McConnell.
He is confident that preparations for the 2015 World Cup in England will not be affected by his departure.
"These are exciting times for Rugby World Cup and rugby and I am sure I am leaving with the foundations firmly in place to ensure that England 2015 is an exceptional success on and off the field," said McConnell.
"This will ensure a very special event and the ongoing growth and strength of the Rugby World Cup brand."
McConnell will begin his new post with the IOC in January after overseeing a transitional process within the IRB's Rugby World Cup department.
"Kit has achieved much during his 10 years at the IRB," said Bernard Lapasset, the IRB chairman.
"He has played a major role in helping Rugby World Cup go from strength to strength.
"We are once again on track to achieve our aim of breaking new markets, attracting record audiences and cementing our showcase event amongst the biggest and most successful major global sports events.
"Kit leaves with the foundations firmly in place for the success story to continue at England 2015 and Japan 2019.
"I would like to thank him for his enormous contribution and wish him all the very best in his new role with our friends at the IOC and look forward to working with him as we prepare for our Olympic Games return at Rio 2016."
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