Hibs secure Norwich high flyer as chief executive
New signing: Ben Kensell and Ronald Gordon (pic: Hibernian FC)
Hibernian Football Club have hired Ben Kensell from Norwich City as chief executive.
The Easter Road club described Mr Kensell as “one of the most highly regarded football club leaders in the UK.”.
He spent three years in the role of chief operating officer at the newly-promoted East Anglian club during which the team secured promotion back to the Premier League and the club grew turnover and commercial income significantly.
Norwich City’s successful self-financed approach is respected throughout the game and Mr Kensell played a major role in establishing the model during his seven-year stay.
He led commercial teams at Arsenal and Charlton before taking on his role at Norwich, was also involved in the delivery of sporting events, including Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and Royal Ascot earlier in his career before embarking on his 16 years in elite football.
Joining Norwich initially as commercial director, he transformed the club’s commercial activities to record breaking levels. Since 2018, he has overseen club restructuring at Norwich, the creation and implementation of a strategic vision and plan, and has delivered a positive, values-driven club culture, including working with a sporting director within an executive committee.
He takes up his new role at Easter Road at the start of August, replacing Leeann Dempster whose departure after six years was announced last November.
Hibernian chairman Ronald J Gordon said: “Supporters know we have taken our time to get the right person, and once available to us, Ben was absolutely the outstanding candidate. I am very confident he will do a fantastic job in leading our plans to take Hibernian to the next level.
“Ben brings tremendous expertise in our industry, commercial nous and experience, superb contacts and a tremendous work ethic with a track record of delivering tangible success across many areas of the club. I very much look to supporting Ben as he takes us forward.”
Mr Kensell said: “I spent seven happy and successful years at Norwich, and it was not an easy decision to leave after securing promotion again with the club in a stable and settled place post-covid.
“However, I was ready for a new challenge and as soon as I was made aware of the opportunity at Hibernian I knew it was where I wanted be. To lead this incredible club as CEO, with the phenomenal support and passionate fanbase it has, along with the ambitious plans that Ron shared with me, it was exciting from the moment we met.
“Hibernian is a historic club, with real tradition and tremendous potential for even greater success in the future. It’s our job to ensure we take it to that next level. I am incredibly honoured to be given the opportunity and will work relentlessly to ensure we can be the best we can be.”