The English Premier League has appointed Susanna Dinnage as its CEO. Dinnage – who will become the league’s first female chief – has been seen as a left-field appointment as she has no previous experience of the football industry.
She has spent her entire career in broadcasting and joins from media organisation Discovery, where she was the global president of the Animal Planet channel. She started her career at MTV and also spent 10 years at Channel Five.
She will replace current CEO Richard Scudamore, who stepped down in December after 19 years at the helm. “I’m excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role,” Dinnage said.
“The Premier League means so much to so many people. It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege.
“With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the League for many years to come.”
Bruce Buck, chair of the Premier League’s Nominations Committee, described Dinnage as a “leading figure in broadcasting”.
“We had a very strong field, but Susanna was the outstanding choice, given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption,” Buck said.
“She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people. She is ideally suited to the role and we are confident she’ll be able to take the Premier League on to new heights.”
Buck’s comments reflect the importance that the League now places on broadcasting – as opposed to footballing matters – as it competes against other European football leagues to secure lucrative TV rights deals.