Tew to step down as New Zealand Rugby CEO
Long-serving New Zealand Rugby (NZR) chief executive Steve Tew will step down from the role at the end of the year, it was announced on Wednesday.
Tew has worked at NZR since 2001, including the past 12 years as the CEO, but will leave the organisation in December.
In a statement, Tew said he felt it was the right time to move on as NZR looks ahead to a period of change.
"After much reflection, I've decided that this is the best time for me to make way for someone else to lead New Zealand Rugby into the future and a new phase for our national game," he said.
"There are new and exciting changes coming as a result of the upcoming, new international calendar, a changing broadcast environment, as well as a new All Blacks head coach to be appointed, so it's the right time for me.
"I've always been a great advocate for challenging convention and keeping New Zealand Rugby fresh and invigorated, whilst always encouraging our people to grow and extend themselves. I believe the time is right for someone else to lead the organisation.
"It has been a great privilege to hold this position and I'm grateful for every day that I have experienced. My wife, Michele, and I have been talking for some time about the best time for us to move on to some new challenges. Our chair Brent Impey and I also discussed when the best time would be to introduce some new blood and new leadership, to keep New Zealand Rugby at the top of our game.
"I've not made this decision lightly – it's a job I love and I consider it an absolute privilege – but it is for those reasons, that I believe the time is right to step down."
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who is stepping down after this year's Rugby World Cup, paid tribute to Tew.
"Firstly, I'd like to acknowledge what a fantastic contribution 'Tewy' has made to the game of rugby in New Zealand and globally, first with Canterbury and the Crusaders, and latterly with New Zealand Rugby and World Rugby.
"I don't think there has been a better sporting CEO in New Zealand sport, especially given the immense scrutiny and expectation he had in his role at New Zealand Rugby.
"On behalf of the All Blacks, I'd like to thank him for his unwavering support for the team and management. It's no coincidence that his time in the job has coincided with one of the most successful periods of All Blacks rugby. He'll be sadly missed by the entire team, who have always enjoyed his company, support and passion."