The World Rugby governing body has announced a number of executive-level changes within the board of directors of the company’s events and media arm, World Rugby Events Company (EventsCo).
Denise Taylor and Sean Summers have joined the board of EventCo as non-executive directors following a global hiring process in order to support the board’s commercial strategy and growth aims.
A subsidiary of World Rugby, the EventssCo board is led by the organization’s chair, Bill Beaumont, who stated of the hirings: “Central to [World Rugby’s] growth mission is world-class expertise to guide, advise and provide expert insight as we transition to a model where World Rugby is both event owner and delivery partner, working with destinations and unions to strategically grow the sport for all.
Beaumont continued: “Denise and Sean bring a wealth of leading innovation, technology, marketing, and digital expertise across sports, entertainment and business sectors, experience that will be vital to rugby increasing its relevance and impact in major markets.”
Taylor previously worked at global experiences company Legends, pioneering a new division at the firm for the implementation of data analytics and emerging technologies into stadiums around the world.
Summers meanwhile joins the EventsCo board while maintaining his role as executive vice-president at South American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre.
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Both new additions to the EventsCo board will serve on the boards of World Rugby’s two upcoming major international tournaments, with Taylor joining the board of the 2027 men’s RWC in Australia and Summers joining the board of the 2025 Women’s RWC in England.
World Rugby’s new hosting model means that the board of directors of its major tournaments sit below and feed into the board of EventsCo in order to centralize the approach toward hosting the competitions.
Joining the board of the 2025 women’s RWC alongside Summers are former hockey Olympian Annie Panter, and communications executive Lindsay Patterson.
Panter joins the board as a representative of the UK government, as she currently serves as a board member of UK Sport, in order to show the government’s support for the tournament.
Patterson is the current chief people officer at communications firm WPP, overseeing human resources at the company, and brings an extensive background in the digital and media landscape to the board having previously served as chief client officer at the company and as worldwide chief executive for media agency Maxus.