Vincent Gaillard has been installed as the new executive director of World Rowing, the sport’s international governing body.

Gaillard will assume his new position in January 2022 and will work alongside president Jean-Christophe Rolland to develop the organisation’s strategic plans.

He will be based in World Rowing’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, and will be responsible for the development of all rowing disciplines, the commercial promotion of the sport and the sustainability efforts of the organisation.

He brings a wealth of experience to the role, having been chief executive of the Global Association of International Sports Federations, the umbrella body for governing and organising bodies, and of European Professional Club Rugby, the organiser of the continent’s top rugby union clubs competitions, as well as co-founder and vice-president of the Sports and Sustainability International non-profit organisation.

Gaillard’s appointment follows an international recruitment process that was launched in response to former chief exec Matt Smith announcing last year that he would be stepping down from the role he had held for over 25 years at the end of 2021.

Rolland said: “The arrival of Vincent starts a new chapter for World Rowing and his experience, including the development of commercial and sustainability strategies, is particularly well suited to the challenges that our organisation now faces.”

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Gaillard added: "I am particularly honoured by the confidence placed in me by World Rowing and looking forward to contributing to the development of rowing around the world in the years to come, building on the outstanding work done by Matt.

“I am optimistic about the potential for growth in the various rowing disciplines, as well as with the organisation itself and I look forward to working with the entire World Rowing team to achieve it.”

It was announced this week that Rolland is set to be re-elected unopposed as president at the organisation’s upcoming congress on 6 November.