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Ex-Scottish Tory leader Davidson joins Scottish Rugby

Ruth Davidson (DBG)
Ambition: Ruth Davidson

Scottish Rugby has further strengthened its operational board with the appointments of Ruth Davidson and Mike Soutar as non-executive directors.

Former Scottish Conservative leader Davidson and Soutar, one of the UK’s most respected business leaders following his 30-year career in publishing, join recent appointees Alexandra Whelan from IMG, also a non-executive director and John McGuigan as chair.

Dundonian Soutar started his career at DC Thomson before moving to London where he held a variety of media and publishing roles in the UK and US before launching Shortlist Media in 2007, which revolutionised the magazine sector.

Following 11 years with Shortlist culminating as chair of the Shortlist Group, he went on to be the first CEO of the Evening Standard before taking on a portfolio of leadership roles across art, finance and production.

He is currently a non-executive director of the V&A Dundee.

He said: “This is a transformative era for the sport and there are substantial opportunities to expand the reach of Scottish Rugby for the benefits of all parts of the game. I am keen to support CEO Mark Dodson and his team in maximising the impact of the growing women’s game, and supporting the crucial work of grassroots community clubs.

“I am also very excited about the significant potential in our professional teams and the Scotland national sides to captivate a wider fan base.”

Davidson joins following more than two decades in journalism and politics.

As an experienced non- executive director across the manufacturing and financial services sectors, she has a particular interest in ensuring companies and organisations deliver their environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments.

A member of the House of Lords, she runs her own consultancy business, is a regular speaker on leadership and diversity, and sits on a number of voluntary and charitable boards.

“From our community clubs through to the international teams, we have so much to be proud of – and so much further potential to be fulfilled. We have to match that potential with ambition and that means working collectively to ensure we are getting things right – from talent spotting to training, infrastructure to finance, safeguarding to leadership, to name but a few.

“I want to help grow the game in Scotland in any way I can and ensure the hard work which underpins it is directed in the most effective way possible.”

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