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Leinster recruit from Google to replace retiring CEO Mick Dawson

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Leinster have recruited Google managing director Shane Nolan as their new CEO to replace Mick Dawson, the official who is retiring after 21 years in charge at the Irish province. It was March 7 when the club announced that the long-serving Dawson would be stepping away and his position has now been filled 20 weeks later.     


A Leinster statement read: “Leinster and the IRFU have announced the appointment of Shane Nolan as CEO in succession to Mick Dawson, who is retiring after 21 years in the role. Shane will join from Google where he is managing director, new business sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Shane has been a member of the Google Ireland senior leadership team since 2017. He will join Leinster as CEO in early November. Mick Dawson will continue in his current role until then to manage a seamless transition.

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“Shane has extensive experience in successfully leading diverse cross-functional senior teams across operations, sales, marketing, public relations and legal. His experience includes multi-stakeholder management including relationships with Government, regulatory, community and industry groups. 

“He has also held non-executive roles in Plan Ireland, IAB Ireland and Buy4Now Ltd. Prior to joining Google in 2011, he held executive management roles in eircom, BT Plc and Fujitsu.”


“A native of Navan, Co Meath, Shane was educated at Castleknock College and NUIG where he captained the 1st XV and represented Connacht U20s. He subsequently played for Navan and is a decade-long Leinster season ticket holder.”


Nolan said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to be taking on the role of Leinster CEO. Leinster is a powerhouse in its field, both on and off the pitch, thanks to the brilliant leadership of Mick and all of the outstanding team at Leinster. I’m excited to work with everyone in the organisation as we look to embark on the next stage of development and success.”

IRFU CEO Kevin Potts added: “Shane was a stand-out candidate in a very strong field of applicants. Shane’s impressive senior leadership experience, rugby background and passion for the game will provide Leinster with another great leader following on from the departure of Mick Dawson.”


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