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Chelsea have appointed Guy Laurence as their new chief executive, the club confirmed on Thursday. The reigning Premier League champions have been without a CEO ever since the departure of Ron Gourlay, way back in October 2014.
Laurence, who will assume his duties as the new chief executive from February, will be in charge of day-to-day operations of the club, including the development of Chelsea’s commercial activities in the UK and around the world, focusing on increasing the club’s revenues. The Blues’ chairman, Bruce Buck, said:
“We look forward to Guy joining the club during an exciting period for Chelsea on and off the field. He will be working with the owner and the board to increase our commercial revenues and maximise digital opportunities, identifying new ways to best serve our supporters here in the UK and further grow our international fan base.”
With the appointment being done, here’s everything you need to know about Chelsea’s new chief executive.
The 56-year-old, who was born in Manchester in 1961, studied at the King’s School Macclesfield and completed his higher education from the Teesside University.
In 2000, Laurence joined Vodafone and worked with Vodafone UK before becoming the CEO of ‘Vodafone Live!’. In 2006, the Mancunian was appointed as the chief executive of Vodafone Netherlands and served for three successful years, following which he earned the CEO post at Vodafone UK. Under his leadership, Vodafone UK in 2010–11 had £5.2bn in turnover.
In December 2013, Laurence was brought in by Rogers Communication – the largest mobile and cable operator and the second largest media owners in Canada. Rogers Communication also own the Toronto Blue Jays and Sportsnet, the largest sports network in Canada and he was appointed as the company’s President and CEO. During his tenure, Laurence led Rogers Communication to acquire a mobile virtual network operator, beating off competition from rival company Telus.
However, he was relieved of his duties in 2016, following disagreements with the Rogers family who have four board seats, controlling Rogers Communications through voting shares.
During his time in Canada, Laurence had also been director of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, with the company controlling all of Toronto’s major sports teams: the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and MLS team Toronto FC.
Laurence’s know-how of managing and overseeing things with major sports teams, coupled with his vast experience across the world is sure to benefit Chelsea in expanding their own reach worldwide.