Leaving Northampton Saints

Darbon switches sport to lead R&A into new era

Changes: The R&A.

Mark Darbon has been appointed chief executive of The R&A and secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

Mr Darbon will succeed Martin Slumbers in the role leading the governing body and the organisation which runs The Open and AIG Women’s Open and invests in developing golf around the world in November.

A former senior member of the team leading the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, he is leaving his role as chief executive of Northampton Saints, the Premiership Rugby club, to take up the St Andrews-based position.

He said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be taking up these positions with The R&A and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and to be moving into golf, a sport I have always loved.

“The R&A is a globally renowned organisation and does so much to ensure that golf prospers from grassroots through to the professional game.”

Niall Farquharson, chairman of The R&A, said: “We were greatly impressed with Mark’s knowledge and experience of the global sport industry and his ability to develop successful teams and deliver fantastic events.

“We believe he will be an excellent leader for The R&A and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and will play a key role in helping us to achieve our goal of ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for golf.”

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