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Port Adelaide Name Matthew Richardson As New CEO

P
ort Adelaide Football Club have named executive general manager, Matthew Richardson, as the club’s new chief executive officer, replacing outgoing CEO Keith Thomas.

Port Adelaide chairman, David Koch, confirmed the appointment at the club’s annual Best and Fairest Awards event at the Adelaide Convention Centre, saying he had originally wanted an external person to take the role, but Richardson was the best candidate.

“This is arguably the most important appointment of any club,” Koch said.

“It’s one never to be taken likely.

“It is a huge responsibility.

“I must admit I initially wanted someone from outside the club to fill the role.

“Richo (Richardson) knows this.

“But no candidate we spoke to ever seemed to have the all-round package that Richo brings.

“I was always sub-consciously benchmarking them against him.

“I didn’t ever want to be accused of making the easy decision, so we got Andrew Demetriou’s sports executive recruitment firm to scour the market and put Richo through the wringer.

“The end result was Andrew concluded we had the best person right here already,” he said.

Richardson first joined Port Adelaide in 2008 as general manager of marketing and consumer business, before filling the role of executive general manager in 2018.

Koch praised the work of outgoing CEO Thomas, saying his work to leave such a high-quality successor highlights his leadership qualities.

“It’s been a massive agenda which he (Thomas) achieved in typical KT style; hard work, strong leadership and an empathy and warmth for all those involved,” Koch said.

“They often say the true measure of a chief executive is always in the quality of the successor he leaves to continue his legacy.

“And in this regard, KT has excelled again,” he said.

During his time in the role since August 2011, Thomas’s key achievements include overseeing the ‘One Club’ strategy to reunite the SANFL and AFL arms of the club, launching the first Aboriginal AFL Academy and Women’s Aboriginal AFL Academy, helping the club surpass 60,000 members for the first time, becoming the first western sporting club in the world to play in China for premiership points, bring in key partners including GFG and MG, and see the club through its 150th anniversary year, this year.