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FAI appoint former athletics chief Gary Owens as interim CEO

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

07:44 20 Jan 2020

Gary Owens has been appointed the Interim Chief Executive of the FAI. 

He assumes the role with the association saying it intends to begin the recruitment process for a permanent CEO in the coming weeks.

Owens effectively replaces FAI board member Paul Cooke who has served as Executive Lead in recent months.

Owens is a former CEO with both Athletics Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland.

Speaking before Owens' appointment on Monday, outgoing Minister for Sport Shane Ross said a new Chief Executive would be key to leading a new era of the FAI, adding, "We want to see a complete change in Irish football and I think we’re seeing the beginning of that.

"We’re certainly seeing the beginning of that with the independent directors and some of the corporate reforms.

"But they’re not moving fast enough, I think we’d like to see the new Chief Executive whenever he is appointed, take the bull by the horns and look at it root and branch.

"But I think we are making really good progress but it is not over yet."

FAI statement:

The FAI can confirm that it intends to commence a recruitment and selection process to appoint a CEO in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, the FAI board tonight approved the appointment of Gary Owens as Interim Chief Executive with immediate effect.

Gary Owens is a highly experienced leader and non-executive director with specialist expertise in business re-structuring, turnaround strategies and governance structures.

Gary has a distinguished career in senior management roles in the financial services and technology sectors, including IFG Group, Rainmaker Technologies and Hibernian Group. He has previously undertaken interim CEO roles with Down Syndrome Ireland and Athletics Ireland.

FAI Independent Chairperson Roy Barrett said: “Gary brings a wealth of experience to this interim role and the Board and I look forward to working with him.

"The Board would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Mr. Paul Cooke, FAI Board Member, who at very short notice held the position of Executive Lead on a pro bono basis for the past few weeks, whilst a process to identify and select an interim CEO was underway."

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Read more about

Athletics Ireland FAI Gary Owens John Delaney Paul Cooke Shane Ross

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