Todd Greenberg’s replacement Andrew Abdo has been elevated from acting CEO to full-time after getting the seal of approval from the ARL Commission and Peter V’landys.
NRL.com reported ARL chairman V’landys on Thursday announced Abdo would take the reins as CEO following Greenberg, who stepped down in April and he couldn’t resist a swipe at the Queensland Government and the AFL in the process
“We just want to announce today that the NRL Grand Final will be played in Cairns,” V’landys joked in response to the AFL’s announcement that it’s main event will be played at the Gabba.
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“We tried to find a golf course to do it in, but they were all occupied. No that is not what we are here for I’m only kidding.
“We are here for a very pleasurable situation to announce that Andrew Abdo is the new CEO.
“Andrew will probably be the best CEO we’ve ever had.”
Abdo has been with the NRL since 2013 and most recently served as chief commercial officer, overseeing 15% revenue growth over four years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abdo was excited to forge ahead with his vision for the game over the coming seasons as it bounces back from its toughest year on record.
“This is an absolute honour and the highlight of my career,” Abdo said.
“Accepting this role is daunting and exciting at the same time because I genuinely love working in this sport.
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“The Commission have shown such strong leadership over these times. That has been achieved through teamwork. The teamwork and unity we’ve showed in this period can be extended well beyond 2020 and into the future.
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“I will only do this on the tremendous support and enthusiasm we have from people. I have enjoyed the relationship with 16 clubs who are important for the connection to fans.”
Abdo formally worked for Deloitte in Johannesburg, Bermuda and Sydney.
His experience in corporate finance will be crucial as NRL aims to secure the financial future of the sport after the coronavirus pandemic, with Abdo proud of the way the game has handled the uncertainty surrounding the revamped 2020 season.
“We have 32 regular-season games to go, we have eight finals games to go and three Origin games,” Abdo said.
When we have winners in both the men’s and women’s competitions we are going to look back on this year with great pride.”
Originally published as ‘NRL Grand Final will be played in Cairns’: V’landys‘ cheeky swipe at AFL as new CEO confirmed