By Natalee Kerr
Former Cricket Australia chief executive officer James Sutherland has joined Geelong Football Club as a director, the Cats announced yesterday.
Mr Sutherland, a long-time Geelong supporter who grew up in Corio, said he was excited to begin his role with the club he had supported his whole life.
“I am delighted to accept the invitation to join the board,” he said.
“I look forward to working with my fellow directors and the executive team to ensure continued growth and success for the Geelong Cats.”
The 53-year-old spent 17 years as Cricket Australia’s CEO from 2001 to 2018, leading the organisation through a period of sustained growth and success.
During his time at Cricket Australia, revenue grew from $50 million to near $500 million, according to the national governing body.
Attendance figures increased by 137 per cent, with a 250 per cent increase in participation and a 500 per cent increase in sponsorship.
Other notable outcomes from Mr Sutherland’s tenure included the launch of the highly successful Big Bash League, growth in women’s cricket, and numerous world cup victories.
Cats president Colin Carter said the club was looking forward to gaining the “strong” leader’s knowledge and expertise.
“There is nothing in the world of sport that James has not worked through, and he has done so with great success over a long period,” Mr Carter said.
“James has such a wide breadth of experience in many facets of the sporting industry, and to be able to add him to the Cats board is a significant step for the club.”
A former Geelong Grammar student and first-class cricketer for Victoria, Mr Sutherland is also a qualified chartered accountant.
He first moved into sports administration in 1992 as Carlton’s finance manager before joining Cricket Australia in 1998 as general manger.
The Cats latest appointment sees Mr Sutherland join former premiership player Shaun Grigg as the club’s first key signings during the first week of the off-season.
Geelong welcomed the recently retired Richmond star as its new development coach on Wednesday, with his role expected to begin next month.