Swimming boss named new AFL Magpies chief

Nov 23, 2017 - 5:15 AM Swimming boss Mark Anderson will take charge of the AFL's biggest club after his surprise appointment as Collingwood chief executive.

Anderson will link up with influential Magpies president Eddie McGuire from March, having spent four-and-a-half years at the helm of Swimming Australia.

He replaces Gary Pert, whose resignation in July after a decade in charge had coincided with the club embarking on a wide-ranging external review.

The businessman leading that review, Peter Murphy, will continue to serve as interim chief executive until Anderson finishes up at Swimming Australia.

Anderson spent three years as Essendon's chief commercial officer in the mid-2000s before taking CEO roles in hockey and swimming.

"Mark brings high-end experience in elite sport, including time in the AFL industry and with national sporting bodies, and has shown a great ability to lead change that delivers outstanding results," McGuire said on Thursday.

"Mark understands the unforgiving realities of elite sport, having led organisations competing on world stages, and has proven his strong commercial sense in securing landmark sponsorship and broadcast deals across the AFL, swimming and hockey.

"The Collingwood Forever blueprint clearly outlines the direction this club needs to take and we are certain Mark has the skill set and character to lead a 21st-century sports organisation that houses elite male and female teams and is home to an unparalleled supporter base."

Former AFL executive Simon Lethlean was thought to have been among the well-credentialed contenders for the prized Magpies CEO role after meeting McGuire in August.

Lethlean resigned as the AFL's football operations manager in July, amid revelations of an inappropriate relationship with a staffer.

The 42-year-old has since been passed over for CEO roles at Carlton, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs.

Anderson will join a Collingwood side, desperate to improve their on-field fortunes, after opting to retain coach Nathan Buckley.

Buckley's performance was the subject of intense scrutiny last season but the club opted to hand him a two-year contract extension.

The Magpies finished 13th last season and have not made the finals since 2014.

Source: AAP

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