Durban - The Sharks on Wednesday announced that Eduard Coetzee will be their new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from September.
Coetzee, the Sharks' current Chief Operating Officer (COO), will take over from Gary Teichmann, who will bow out from his role after three years at the helm, having set plans in place and achieved several objectives during his tenure as CEO.
Stephen Saad, the chairperson of the Sharks Board of Directors, commented: "Gary came in at a challenging time for Sharks Rugby and not only brought stability and leadership to the role, but also a strong business background at a time when sport is indeed big business.
"Although Gary will vacate his current position, he will remain actively involved at the Sharks where he will impart business and leadership advice and engaging with key stakeholders, with Eduard enjoying a sounding board offered by Gary. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gary for his invaluable contribution to the Sharks and more specifically for the principled approach he took and the strong work ethic that accompanied everything he did."
As a former player, Coetzee returned to the Sharks to take up the position of COO in 2014 and in a short space of time has earned great respect as a leader and an astute businessman who brings a fresh and dynamic approach to the role.
He believes strongly in the personal and skills development of people around him and he too practices this approach, which will see him receive his Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of KwaZulu-Natal later this year.
Prior to his doctorate studies, Coetzee did extensive research into rugby administration whilst studying for a Masters Degree from UCT GSB in Business Innovation. As part of his dissertation, he focused on the development of South African rugby franchises into inclusive, sustainable and successful business models.
Coetzee, now into his sixth year in administration at the Sharks, has enjoyed an important and successful role as COO, which has given him the opportunity to work within all aspects of the business and which make for a seamless transition to CEO.
Reacting to his appointment, Coetzee stated: "I am extremely humbled to be appointed as the next CEO of the Sharks. My strategy will be to build on the platform and stability created by Gary during his tenure. The basic business principles of corporate governance and financial controls are non-negotiable fundamentals in our business and will be amplified going forward.
"However, as a strategy I believe that people process culture, culture is my strategy and it needs to be worked on daily in order to be effective. Driving the Sharks culture will create unity from top to bottom. When the chips are down, absolute alignment is key... a strong culture will align individuals in a tough environment like professional sport."
Saad concluded: "Eduard's strong working relationship with Gary over the last three years means his elevation to CEO will be a continuance of a vision to take The Sharks franchise from strength to strength as a sports team and as a business. We will all be there to support him every step of the way."