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Chelsea chairman plays key role in appointing new Premier League CEO

The Global President of Animal Planet, Susanna Dinnage will the new Chief Executive of the Premier League

TCA Summer Event 2018 Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery, Inc.

It is perhaps quite fitting symbolically that the new CEO of the Premier League comes from a similar role at the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet. After all, few places in the natural or man-made world embody the concept of “survival of the fittest” better than the Premier League. Be that physically, mentally, or financially, by any legal, semi-legal, or illegal means necessary or allowed (or gotten away with), the Premier League’s animal kingdom will always be ruled by the top dog, while the weak are relegated to fighting for scraps in the lower divisions.

Susanna Dinnage, who also oversaw Eurosport in her role at Discovery, will be tasked with leading the executive operations of the league starting next year, after current CEO Richard Scudamore steps down at the end of this year. Scudamore has been in charge for almost 20 years , since November 1999, and was influential enough that he will need two people to replace him. Dinnage takes over as CEO, while an non-executive chair will also be appointed to provide oversight and consultation.

The search for the new CEO was led by a familiar face, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who led a five-member committee (including Leicester City CEO Susan Whelan and Burnley chiarman Mike Garlick, and a couple other non-executive directors from the Premier League) in finding and appointing Dinnage.

“We are very pleased to appoint such a capable leader to this important role. We had a very strong field but Susanna was the outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption. She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people. She is ideally suited to the role and we are confident she will be able to take the Premier League on to new heights.

“Richard Scudamore, having provided exceptional stewardship for almost 20 years, will leave us at the end of the year in great shape and with an excellent Executive Team and Board able to fully support Susanna.”

-Bruce Buck; source: Chelsea FC

Scudamore has helped grow the Premier League into the world’s richest, “best”, and most popular football league, but it now faces all sorts of new challenges, both politically (Brexit) and in sporting terms (SuperLeague).

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