RITA begins search for TAB NZ CEO

New Zealand’s Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) has confirmed that it has begun the search for the first chief executive of TAB NZ, following the reform of the country’s racing sector.

The search has been carried out by executive recruitment specialists Caldwell Partners, which has been asked to find a candidate with “proven experience in Australasia across the wagering, gaming or similar sectors”.

In a statement on its website, RITA said: “Recruitment is underway for a CEO to lead TAB NZ into a new era, utilising the strong existing platform to move the business to a truly commercial operation, redefining the TAB NZ brand for a highly successful and sustainable future, working alongside the TAB NZ Board, executive leadership team, Racing Industry codes and governing bodies to achieve this. Initially this role will also involve oversight of the completion of transitioning activities from RITA to TAB NZ.

“The commercial shift will be achieved through customer driven products and a revenue growth plan that sees TAB NZ develop enhanced and new product offerings as well as create and build strong and sustainable partnerships with others.

“Maximisation of our fixed odds betting and digital platforms will be key to future growth. This commercial shift will also maintain and further develop the TAB NZ’s commitment to harm minimisation and its social responsibility to the people of New Zealand.”

The new recruit will overtake John Allen, who confirmed his resignation at the end of last year. Dean McKenzie has taken up the position of interim CEO, and will hold the role from January until June 2020 to oversee RITA’s transformation into TAB NZ until a new CEO is hired.

According to RITA, McKenzie’s ‘appointment to Executive Chair will ensure RITA maintains the momentum of significant urgent reform required to revitalise racing, while providing continuity and stability in the management of the day to day activities of the TAB’.

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