Richard Barker appointed Reds CEO

by staff

With the announcement of Richard Barker as the new QRU CEO on Thursday, the Reds have signalled the appointment of a new coach is not far off.

Barker was formerly the general manager of Southern Cross Austereo in Brisbane, and his appointment follows in the Reds' trend of taking people from outside of rugby to lead the organisation.

QRU chairman Damian Frawley, speaking at Thursday's announcement, said with Barker in the CEO chair, a new on-field mentor would come in the next six weeks.

"We’ve appointed a panel to assist in the search for a coach," he said.

"Clearly the CEO and the coach need to work fairly closely together once that appointment is made.

"It’s important that CEO has some input into that, as does the board, but hopefully we’ll get to a landing a coach in the next four to six weeks."

The Reds have acted swiftly since former CEO Jim Carmichael announced his immediate departure last month, and Barker is fully aware of what's to come when he steps into the role officially in eight weeks' time.

The Reds have appointed a new CEO. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

"I’m fully aware there are a number of big challenges," he said.

"My background coming from a very competitive industry and sometime very challenging in terms of finances. I know there is a fairly good plan in play."

Frawley said in a statement earlier in the day that Barker, a former Southern Cross Austereo general manager, would bring a new set of skills to the role.

“Richard has run one of Queensland’s highest profile media companies for the past 30 years and we believe he has the experience, skills and knowledge of all levels of the game to successfully lead the organisation in what is one of the toughest sporting markets in the world," he said.

"I look forward to working with Richard over the coming years as we continue to grow interest and participation in Rugby at the grassroots level and build a platform for the sustained success of our elite teams.”

Barker said in a statement he wanted to help expand rugby's horizons within the state.

“I am very proud and honoured to have been offered the role of Queensland Rugby Union CEO. I am excited to be joining QRU and intend to make a difference. I am aware of the important responsibilities that come with this role in representing all key stakeholders.

"There’s work to be done and I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves to help to make rugby a game for all.”