Celtic hire Scottish Rugby’s McKay as new CEO

Dominic McKay

Celtic plc announced on Friday that CEO Peter Lawwell has tendered his resignation and will retire from his role on June 30, 2021.

The club said that Dominic McKay, the current chief operating officer of the Scottish Rugby Union Limited, will assume the role of Celtic plc CEO and a director of the company with effect from July 1, 2021. 

“Peter joined the club as chief executive in 2003 and has since overseen a period of unprecedented success which has delivered 29 trophies to the club, including 13 leagues titles, four domestic trebles and participation in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on three occasions,” said the club.

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier said: On behalf of the directors, shareholders and Celtic supporters all around the world, we would like to thank Peter for his huge commitment to the company as chief executive officer.

“Peter has served Celtic with distinction for over 17 years during which time, the club has enjoyed unprecedented success both on and off the field.

“Peter’s expertise, intelligence and judgement has guided Celtic brilliantly through the past 17 years and as a chairman, I could not have hoped to work with a more able and skilful chief executive – someone with Celtic in his soul, who has had the club’s best interests at the heart of every decision he has made.

“He will be regarded as a man who has played a pivotal role in our history and we should always respect the huge impact he has had on the club.

Whilst we accept Peter’s decision with great sadness, the club is delighted to announce the appointment of Dominic McKay who will take over the role of chief executive officer upon Peter’s departure.

“Dominic is an experienced executive of the highest calibre, who has been responsible for delivering impressive commercial and sporting success in his current role with Scottish Rugby and as chairman of the Guinness Pro14 League.

“He will now bring his breadth of high performance sport experience to drive the club forward and our focus will be to support Dominic to ensure a smooth transition.

“He is a person of the highest integrity with formidable talents that will be real assets to the club going forward.

The directors look forward to working with Dominic towards delivering future success”.

McKay joined Scottish Rugby in January 2008, aged 29, as director of communications and public affairs from a previous post at Pernod Ricard.

“Dominic took on a broader portfolio of group responsibilities in 2011, becoming chief operating officer in 2015. 

“During his time in the role at Scottish Rugby, the organisation has been transformed on and off the field. 

“Dominic has been responsible for all group commercial matters, corporate affairs, government relations, stadium and facilities as well as overseeing the development of Scotland’s two premier rugby clubs Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby in a European context. 

“He also sits on the board of a number of international rugby organisations.”

McKay said: “I can honestly say I have enjoyed the best 13 years of my life at Scottish Rugby and made life-long friends across the sport and all its numerous Unions, partners, broadcasters and sponsors.

“It has been a huge privilege to work with such a talented and passionate group of people over this time and I’d like to pay special thanks to Mark Dodson for his support, friendship and leadership.

“Joining Celtic FC as chief executive is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a new challenge I am very excited about taking on later this year.

“I have been incredibly impressed with the vision and people within the club and I look forward to working with them.”

Scottish Rugby CEO Mark Dodson said: “Firstly I’d like to congratulate Dom on securing this fantastic opportunity.

“Dom will leave with all our best wishes and he will always be a friend of Scottish Rugby and our sport.

“I have hugely enjoyed working with him and he has made a significant contribution to the progress we have made as a sport and organisation, including recently helping to bring significant private equity investment into the PRO14.

“While we are sad to see him go in the summer we wish him well at Celtic FC and are delighted he is staying in Scottish sport and look forward to our paths crossing again in the future.

“Scottish Rugby is currently entering into a period of strategic review that will see the organisation plan for its post Covid-19 future and I will reference this work to reflect the needs of the organisation ahead of any recruitment process.”

Scottish Rugby chairman John Jeffrey said: “I’d like to congratulate Dom on his new role.

“He has been instrumental in making Scottish Rugby a more attractive and viable commercial partner for a wide portfolio of sponsors and supporters, which in turn has helped us to increase investment across the game at all levels.

“Dominic has also worked to develop our positive relationship with the Scottish Government, which has been increasingly important during the pandemic.

“He can be proud of the legacy he will leave behind and we thank him wholeheartedly for his hard work and commitment to driving Scottish Rugby forward during his tenure.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.