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James Rule to replace Julie Gaskell as Vikings chief executive
4:05pm Monday 10th September 2012 in Vikings news
WIDNES Vikings have announced that Chief Executive Julie Gaskell will leave the club over the next few weeks and that James Rule will take over in her place. Steve O ‘Connor, Executive Chairman said: “Julie has delivered what she set out to achieve, by helping us achieve a successful Super League Licence and seeing the Club through its first season in Super League.
“On behalf of the Board and team at the Vikings, I would like to thank Julie for the contribution she has made to the Club and for the energy and professionalism she has displayed. I am sure that the experience she has gained during her time with the Vikings will only enhance her career prospects and we wish her well for the future.”
Julie Gaskell, Chief Executive said: “After just over two years at the Club, I feel that the time is right now to move on and pursue the next stage of my career.
“I have really enjoyed my time with the Vikings and I have learnt a lot. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work for this fantastic Club and would like to thank everyone involved with the Club for their kindness and support. I am sure that the Vikings will go on to achieve great things and wish the team, staff and supporters best wishes for next season and the years ahead.”
Commenting on the appointment of James Rule, O’Connor added: “I am delighted to have secured the services of James Rule as our new CEO. He has demonstrated an outstanding ability during his tenure as CEO at Hull FC. Under his leadership the Club secured two successive Grade A licences and developed a model for a sustainable sports business.
“I am aware that James has nine months left to serve on a sanction imposed by UKAD. James and I have talked at length about this and we can confirm that his role as CEO of Widnes fully respects the criteria stipulated in the sanction and does not conflict with it in any capacity.
“James has strong commercial acumen, his experience will be an important addition to our organisation as he begins the process of assessing our current off field operation and in turn developing the strategies that can create a sustainable business model.
“Great strides have been made at the Vikings this year under the direction of Julie Gaskell and our management team. I look forward to working with James to continue the growth and development of this great Club.”
Rule said: “When Steve approached me I was instantly engaged by the vision that he has for the Widnes Vikings. His innovative approach and passion is infectious and I am very excited by the opportunity that he has presented me. It is an honour to become CEO of a club with such a rich heritage as Widnes.
“The first year following introduction to Super League is tough. I believe that the Club, its directors, staff, coaches, players and supporters have achieved a great deal this year and created strong foundations on which to build. The focus now is to develop a sustainable business model to facilitate the continued growth of the Widnes Vikings.”