CEO Mark Brayshaw resigns from AFL Coaches’ Association to pursue medicinal cannabis venture


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He was a candidate for the North Melbourne CEO job that Ben Amarfio eventually won and his three boys, Angus, Andrew and Hamish, have all been on AFL lists, with Angus and Andrew high-profile midfielders at Melbourne and Fremantle.

However, the coronavirus pandemic led to an upheaval in football departments with clubs standing down coaching staff and the AFL leading a narrative that claimed the game was poorer due to the proliferation of coaches.

The AFL also cut the football department cap from
$9.7 million to $6.2 million a year in 2021, which led to many coaches leaving or seeking work in football at the community level and some disquiet with the league’s regard for the coaching role.

In a statement Brayshaw said he had loved the job he held for six years.

“The coaches have inspired me with their work ethic, empathy and candour. I’m lost in admiration for the role they play in our game and have been very grateful for the support I’ve received from them and this wonderful industry,” Brayshaw said.

After such a tumultuous year, in which Rhyce Shaw parted ways with North Melbourne for personal reasons, and the personal lives of respected coaches making headlines, senior coaches such as Hawthorn’s Alastair Clarkson have expressed concern about the future of the profession.

The AFLCA will canvass members before beginning their search in February with Brayshaw to remain in the position until April.

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NRL 2020: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Andrew Hill quits as CEO, Trent Barrett


New Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett got his first taste of the back-room politics in play at Canterbury-Bankstown when CEO Andrew Hill parted ways at Belmore on Tuesday.

After three years of hard yakka, three boards, three different chair people and three coaches, Hill and the Bulldogs decided to go their separate ways.

In other words, Hill got told his number was up.

Welcome to the family club, 2021.

Round 1

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Bulldogs, CEO Hill part ways in NRL shock


Canterbury have confirmed the sudden and surprise departure of chief executive Andrew Hill, who took a lead role in the NRL club’s rebuild.

Hill helped lure new coach Trent Barrett to the Bulldogs and was involved in the signing of star Melbourne speedster Josh Addo-Carr for the 2022 season.

He was also instrumental in securing the services of former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen as a high-performance consultant.

The Bulldogs also recruited Corey Allan this week, joining Kyle Flanagan, Nick Cotric and Jack Hetherington as new faces at the club.

In his three years in the position after moving across from the NRL, Hill oversaw the transition through two coaches with Des Hasler and Dean Pay both leaving during his tenure.

Hill spoke last month of his passion for reviving the once powerhouse club , which finished a disappointing 15th last season, but said he was ready to take on another challenge.

“I have enjoyed my time at the Bulldogs and after three years of service in the role the time is now right to look at my next challenge,” Hill said in a brief statement.

“I wish the club and team every success for the future.”

Bulldogs chairman John Khoury also didn’t give away reasons for Hill’s abrupt departure in his statement.

“Andrew Hill has made a significant contribution to the Bulldogs over the past three years,” Khoury said.

“He has strengthened all areas of the club and will leave us in a strong position for a new CEO to take over.

“We are appreciative of his professionalism in signalling this early enough for us to find a replacement in time for the start of the season.”

Current Chief Financial Officer John White will fill the role of interim CEO,.



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NRL 2021: CEO Andrew Hill departs Bulldogs, Trent Barrett, rugby league news


Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill has reportedly parted ways with the club despite overseeing an impressive rebuild over the last six months.

The Daily Telegraph reports Hill, who joined the club in 2017, has left his role, however a reason why remains to be seen.

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Under Hill’s watch, Trent Barrett was appointed head coach and the club has made a number of key signings including Nick Cotric, Kyle Flanagan and most recently Corey Allan, as well as Josh Addo-Carr and Matt Burton for the 2022 season.

Round 1

Hill also played a major role in locking in All Blacks legend Steve Hansen as high performance consultant as well as securing a major sponsor, Laundy Hotels.

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TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan: Our financial strength critical in ability to invest ahead of curve


Bengaluru: Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. is benefiting from consolidation in the marketplace as global clients are shifting technology work to companies that are financially stronger, helping it project double-digit growth from the next fiscal year, Chief Executive Officcer Rajesh Gopinathan told ET’s Anandi Chandrasekhar and Raghu Krishnan in an interview.

TCS, which accounts for 15% of India’s IT exports and employs over a tenth of its total workforce, delivered
street-beating third quarter results as businesses across verticals and geographies showed growth. Gopinathan said the software services exporter’s financial strength was critical in its ability to invest ahead of the curve. Edited Excerpts:

What kind of near-term trends are inspiring confidence for you to say that TCS will get back to double digit growth in financial year 2022?

It is long term trends that are inspiring confidence. The consistent belief that technology change is best addressed by significant investments in training, and the continuous focus on our own associates has been at the heart of this whole transformation journey that we are in. So that’s one part of it. The second is our ability to consistently invest ahead of the curve, keep building up assets and knowledge base and partnerships in emerging technology areas. It is not that suddenly our confidence has changed. We have always been confident but the articulation of the confidence changes. In March-April, we were confident. At that time, people were sceptical about why we were saying that the impact will be similar to the global financial crisis. Today, we are confident that we are now on a good track and we have visibility to the next year forward.

Is there consolidation in the market? Has your financial heft and service delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic helped in attracting bigger deals from customers?

Our financial strength is critical in our ability to invest ahead of the curve. You’ll see consolidation in the market. It’s a flight to quality. In stable times the market tends to get fragmented, whereas it is in scenarios like these that the investment value becomes more directly visible to a wider customer universe. The financial performance is important because it gives us the ability to invest ahead of the curve and it is those investments that are resulting in this flight to quality and the position that we are seeing. The consolidation is not us buying out other competitors and consolidating the market, it is being driven from the customer end, where the customer is choosing to focus more on us as a strategic partner. If you look at our customer universe also there is a fair amount of similarity … They have gone through multiple cycles in their own industries.

Are large banks back to spending? What are they investing on?


Wealth management was originally targeted at a very narrow segment of the client universe, and the larger client universe was given fairly standardised products. Now, there is pressure from below where the commoditised products are being taken away by best of breed providers (fintech players) — whether it be home mortgages, or auto loans or various forms of savings products. There is a greater need to provide holistic wealth management as a purpose-led proposition rather than savings or loans as a product. The other big thing that is going on is actually the reverse of it. Let’s say payments as a functionality is being exposed (through APIs) by banks, and they’re trying to convert themselves into platforms that will provide this functionality to a wider universe. They push payment as a product deep into the value chain of retail, logistics, or various other providers. Being able to expose their (IT) systems and create business models allows them to actually be seen as a portfolio of functionalities. With blockchain, validation/trust becomes another service that they can provide in a disaggregated manner.

Do you think at some point the top cloud players will become competition?

In our industry, co-optation is a word. We have more to gain through collaboration. They provide technology as a cloud, we provide talent as a cloud, both of us are focused in delivering transformation to the customer. Once large-scale transformation and migration are over, who will provide what service — that we will have to see. They will definitely have aspirations to increase their pie, we will have aspirations to increase the leverage that we think is possible. But broadly, we have complementary and mutually exclusive business models.



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Royal College of Midwives CEO: ‘It’s really important women in labour have somebody with them’


Maria Booker Is from Birthrights, a group that campaigns for better maternity care, and Gill Walton is chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives.

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MaGIC CEO: 2020 highlights importance of innovation, technology, collaboration & capacity building


  • Building vibrant, sustainable startup ecosystem requires effort from all stakeholders
  • Capacity building has allowed startups to pivot and remain resilient at a tough time

2020 was, by all accounts, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. But it was also a year of revelations – of change, opportunity, and lessons.

For the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), 2020 highlighted the importance of innovation and technology in surviving a global pandemic. “Innovation and technology has never been more important and prominently used, to say the least,” MaGIC CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar tells Digital News Asia, as part of a recap of 2020.

“The last year accelerated technology adoption and changed our worldview of things in ways we could not have ever imagined. All only possible through the power of technology and innovation.”

2020 was also a year of revelations for Dzuleira, who personally learned how to navigate expectations when it comes to life, work and family – how to manage education, social interactions and keeping mental and physical health in check during such a highly disruptive period.

“To me, the year has imparted a crucial lesson on the need to be on the lookout for each other,” she says.

It’s a lesson that was extended to MaGIC and the Malaysian tech startup ecosystem as a whole.

Covid-19 has had a severe impact on startups worldwide. According to the Global Startup Ecosystem report, 72% of startups in the world have seen their sales fall since the beginning of the pandemic, with the drop averaging at 32%. On top of that, a 40% decline in sales or more was faced by 40% of all startups, while only 12% recorded substantial growth.

In Malaysia, this was softened somewhat thanks to a bit of foresight by MaGIC, who – at the start of the movement control order (MCO) – conducted a survey which found that a shocking 2.9% of startups were confident they could survive beyond 12 months under prevailing lockdown conditions.

Three weeks into the MCO, MaGIC ran another survey, which found that 64% of startups experienced a decline in revenue. On top of that, 21% said they needed between RM251,000 to RM500,000 (US$62,500 to US$124,500) to sustain their business until the end of 2020, while 16% indicated that they needed more than RM500,000.

“The findings of both surveys played a big part in the fruition of the design of the tech startup funding,” Dzuleira says. Sure enough, during 2020’s Global Acceleration Program (GAP) organised by MaGIC in mid-Sept, access to funding and startup resilience became a key theme.

 

Doing this together

For the most part, startups are more resilient than they appear. Dzuleira points out that they are agile by design, and most have been responsive in addressing the needs, challenges and opportunities during the pandemic.

Yet not all startups are able to make the necessary leap. “We are also aware that not all businesses can pivot. Some may need to rip apart their business model and implement a new one. We believe startups need to continue to build capacity in order to increase resilience,” Dzuleira says.

“Therefore, MaGIC has shifted its programmes to help startups diversify their business models or product market. Our programmes are tailored to build high economic and social impact. In these challenging times, it is imperative that we have a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem for startups to ensure they soldier on and thrive.”

It’s not something MaGIC could do alone. “Building a vibrant and sustainable startup ecosystem at a national, regional and global scale requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders – from entrepreneurs and corporates, to regulators and consumers – as we attempt to innovatively develop solutions for challenges that come our way. Together, we can propel a resilient global economy,” Dzuleira elaborates.

For Dzuleira, social innovation taps into the power of collaboration and partnership – the bringing-together of public, private and the community themselves to devise innovative solutions for the country.

“We should not work out solutions in silo, but have that open platform and conversation to bring the right people onboard and devise more effective solutions.

“This may include ideas, ways and means, strategies and even organizations that develop innovative solutions to meet, especially the needs of those who live at the bottom of the pyramid – improving their access and outcomes in areas such as education, healthcare, community development, livelihood and more.”

 

Into the new normal

These solutions will be pivotal in allowing the country to navigate the coming times. “Normal has been redefined, it would be unlikely that things return to where they were pre pandemic. It’s the New Normal that we have to live in, which minus the healthcare crisis and tragedy can be a norm enabled by technology.”

To thrive in this new normal, she adds, we would have to embrace change – something which can be done with technology.

“We need to embrace change to ensure business growth and sustainability. There are lessons to be learnt from the global health crisis, and it is important to learn, adapt and pivot,” she stresses.

“In MaGIC, this could be done through the restructuring of our existing programmes such as GAP and MaGIC Online Academy, whilst introducing new ones such as MyStartup Hub and Global Market Fit Programme to better suit the needs for startup to be ever adaptive to other scenarios the future offers.”

 

What now?

Where do we go from here? For Dzuleira, it’s about learning the right lessons. The revenue drop over the early months of the MCO is an indicator that being agile and capable of pivoting is crucial to survive – something Dzuleira says is a lesson startups need to take to heart.

“Of course, some business models are tough to pivot and a better solution may be to tear it apart and draw up a new plan. Yes, tough times call for extraordinary measures. But startups are agile by nature and are able to shift faster compared to large conglomerates,” she says.

This, she adds, can partially be attributed to their commitment towards capacity building, which helps build resilience in times of crisis. “These startups have enhanced their skills, knowledge and equipment. They are ready to scale up or mitigate disruptions.”

“MaGIC has always been a believer of capacity building and supports the ecosystem through various accelerator programmes and bootcamps, making available our best-of-breed mentors and most sought-after coaches in various specialties to assist startups reaching out for assistance.”

Again, MaGIC didn’t do this alone. Government interventions also helped. MaGIC’s survey found that almost 74% of startups claimed that they have benefited from various government incentives.

2021 may not dawn at a new light. Much of the future remains cloudy. But Dzuleira has a more positive outlook. “We may be facing an economic contraction, but the truth is, matters could be much worse,” she quips.

“Malaysia’s resilient economy has managed to stand firm, no doubt thanks to the strong foundations in place as well as the timely and strategic government interventions to prevent us from going into free fall.”

If anything, 2021 does have its silver lining. The Malaysian Central Bank, for one, forecast a GDP growth of between 5.5% and 8%, something Dzuleirsa says is “indeed music to our ears.”

What’s important now is staying the course and adapting, as well as put trust in innovation and technology. “By enabling technology, we are able to re-engineer the way we operate and transform our futures,” Dzuleira concludes.


Karamjit Singh contributed to this article.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: Hold Capitol insurrectionists accountable


Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the TIME 100 Summit on April 23, 2019 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Wednesday that the United States must complete the transition to a Biden administration, and that rioters who participated in an “insurrection” in Washington D.C. must be held responsible.

“Today marks a sad and shameful chapter in our nation’s history. Those responsible for this insurrection should be held to account, and we must complete the transition to President-elect Biden’s administration. It’s especially when they are challenged that our ideals matter most,” Cook tweeted.

The comments were made in a tweet late in the day that a pro-Trump mob invaded the U.S. Capitol, forcing Congress to suspend proceedings to confirm the election of Joe Biden as president.

The tweet is Cook’s first public statement on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. President Donald Trump has called Cook a friend and the two men have had an open line of communication over the past four years.

Other business leaders have also condemned the violence on Capitol Hill, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and the Business Roundtable, a group of major public companies, of which which Apple is a member.



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Western Force appoint new CEO for new era


Former NZ rugby administrator Tony Lewis has been handed the job of turning the Western Force into a trans-Tasman powerhouse after being named as the franchise’s new chief executive.

The Force have been on the lookout for a new chief executive since Mark Evans announced his retirement late last year.

Evans, who will continue in the role until February 1, said COVID-19 travel restrictions combined with having family in the UK made it impossible for him to carry out the role long term.

Lewis played for the Western Suburbs club (now Wests Scarborough) while living in Perth in the late 1980s and represented the State in 1987 before making a successful transition into sporting administration.

He has been the chief executive of the Tasman Rugby Union for seven years, during which time the Tasman Mako has emerged as New Zealand’s champion provincial team and become a production line for Super Rugby and international players.

The Mako won back-to-back New Zealand provincial titles in 2019 and 2020 and have appeared in a total of five grand finals.

Before his role as Tasman chief executive, Lewis was general manager at Sydney’s Randwick Rugby Club, and a high performance cricket manager at the NSW Blues.

Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest saved the Force from extinction when the Perth-based franchise was controversially axed from Super Rugby ranks by Rugby Australia in 2017.

Forrest had big plans to launch a breakaway tournament that was first dubbed World Series Rugby and later morphed into Global Rapid Rugby.

The COVID-19 crisis brought Global Rapid Rugby to a halt after just one round of its debut season in 2020, but the pandemic opened the door for the Force to be included in an Australian-only version of Super Rugby last year.

Cash-stricken Rugby Australia have since thrown their full support behind the Force, who have been invited back into Super RugbyAU in 2021 and will also compete in the new trans-Tasman competition.

“Tony’s appointment is another key building block for the Force and underlines my drive for Western Australia to have the best Academy system across all of Australian sport, through which we can develop, recruit and retain the best young players, just as the Mako have done so successfully in New Zealand,” Forrest said.

“This program will not only strengthen local club and school rugby, but also help support the success of the Wallabies as the Force looks to produce more international players.”

The Force have embarked on a huge recruiting drive, snaring players such as Irish superstar Rob Kearney, Argentinian internationals Tomas Cubelli, Julian Montoya, Tomas Lezana, Santiago Medrano and Domingo Miotti, as well as Wallabies duo Tevita Kuridrani and Tom Robertson.





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Western Force names new CEO



New Zealand rugby administrator Tony Lewis will return to WA after being appointed chief executive of the Western Force, replacing outgoing CEO Mark Evans.

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