Long serving Managing Director and CEO of the Australian Rugby Union, John O’Neill, has announced he will be departing from his role at the end of October.


Mr O’Neill had originally planned to depart the ARU late next year, but the ARU Board confirmed they had reached an agreement to bring forward his departure.


Current Deputy Chief Executive, Matt Carroll, will be installed as acting CEO from November 1 while a global search is conducted for a long-term replacement.

ARU Chairman Michael Hawker said Mr O’Neill had been a wonderful and committed contributor to the game over a long period of time and was stepping down as Managing Director and CEO having laid the foundation for an important evolutionary phase for Australian Rugby.

“John’s workload beyond Rugby has recently grown significantly, and unexpectedly, through his chairmanship of Echo Entertainment,” Mr Hawker said.

“John had previously indicated he was standing down when his contract ended next year, so the timing of his resignation is now logical for both him and the ARU.”


While Mr O’Neill is standing down from an executive role at ARU, he will retain significant involvement with the game by continuing to serve as an ARU delegate to the International Rugby Board, as Chairman of the IRB Regulations Committee, and as a Board member of Rugby World Cup Ltd.