Sports-media ace Jacques Raynaud new EPCR CEO


Jacques Raynaud new CEO of European Professional Club Rugby Image: EPCR

The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) has announced that Jacques Raynaud has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Swiss-based organizer of the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup tournaments following an extensive and rigorous global search process.

‘EPCR’ stated that the search process, led by the EPCR Chairman and with support from the EPCR Board, sought a candidate with proven leadership success and the relevant high-level experience necessary to accelerate the delivery of the newly-established EPCR strategy.

Lausanne (Switzerland)-based the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) is the governing body and organizer of the two major club rugby union tournaments: The Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup. A third tournament, the European Rugby Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition was introduced as a qualification competition for clubs from minor nations to enter the Challenge Cup. The EPCR shared control of this tournament with Rugby Europe, the international federation for rugby union in Europe, and with the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR). The tournament was discontinued after the 2018-2019 seasons.

The European Rugby Champions Cup (known as the Heineken Champions Cup for sponsorship reasons) is an annual rugby union tournament organized by the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). It is the top-tier competition for clubs who compete in a predominantly European league.

The EPCR Challenge Cup is an annual rugby union competition organized by the European Professional Club Rugby. It is the second-tier competition for clubs based in European leagues behind the European Rugby Champions Cup.

‘EPCR’ further stated that Frenchman Raynaud is a highly respected and experienced sports and media executive who has held Executive Vice-President roles within the media company Sky Group for SKY Italia and SKY Deutschland and Managing Director for Sky Media as well as Vice-Chairman of the Eurosport Group.

Currently head honcho of the sportstech start-up MyTVchain, Raynaud’s international business experience and background bring key expertise into the EPCR for whom he will lead the delivery of the organization’s ambitious strategy alongside the EPCR Executive and Board.

EPCR Chairman, Dominic McKay, said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jacques Raynaud as the new CEO of EPCR. He is an outstanding candidate in a very strong field who has been selected after a rigorous global search. Jacques’ background, particularly within the multimedia and commercial environments, will enable EPCR’s Board and Leadership team to deliver against our key priorities in these areas. I very much look forward to working closely with Jacques to further develop our great tournaments, the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup. I would like to thank Anthony Lepage who has led the EPCR team extremely well in recent seasons delivering many new initiatives and putting the organization on the right track to accelerate development.”

Added Raynaud, “I am delighted to be joining EPCR at such an exciting time. I have been impressed by the Board’s new strategy and vision for the tournaments and look forward to playing my part in delivering this with the team. I am very much looking forward to working with the team at EPCR as well as all stakeholders and playing my part in enhancing the tournaments that form the very pinnacle of international club rugby.”

Raynaud will join EPCR at the end of the season and will work closely with the interim CEO Anthony Lepage, who will be moving to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), in order to ensure a smooth transition.

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