Wasps Group has announced the appointment of a new chief executive following the departure of Stuart Cain to Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
Stephen Vaughan has been appointed to the role at the Coventry-based business.
Mr Vaughan will have responsibility for the combined group activities including conferences, exhibitions and concerts at the Ricoh Arena, as well as all sponsorship and commercial activities.
He joined the company last year, taking on responsibility for all the group’s sporting operations.
During that time he has implemented several major changes, including the appointment of a new rugby management team.
Mr Vaughan is a former professional footballer, who was on the books at Walsall FC.
From there he joined Thomas Cook where he rose through the ranks to undertake a number of senior managerial roles.
He served as managing director of the company’s Club 18-30 business before becoming managing director of Thomas Cook London 2012, where he led Thomas Cook’s involvement with the Olympic Games in London.
Mr Vaughan joins Wasps after seven years with Gloucester Rugby, where he led a long-term transformation of the club which culminated in Gloucester Rugby achieving its first play-off finish for eight years.
He was also responsible for all off-field commercial activities – including conferencing, events and concerts, retail and partnerships, growing turnover and retail spend by 50 per cent.
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Wasps Group owner Derek Richardson said: “Stephen has vast experience and an impressive track record across different areas – such as events, ticketing and commercial operations – which are key to the success of the Wasps Group.
“He has made a very positive impact since his arrival, has great dynamism and a fresh, forward-looking approach to business which has already yielded some impressive results.
“He has dealt with a number of major challenges, including a change in management on the rugby side of the business and steering the company through these unprecedented times.”
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Mr Richardson added: “Taking a larger role in the wider operation of Wasps Group is a very natural step at what is a very important time for the business.
“We have exciting plans in a number of areas and Stephen has been working on those developments in recent months and will now drive them forward to fruition.”
Mr Vaughan, a business management graduate of Loughborough University, said: “Wasps Group is a very dynamic business with exciting potential in all its areas of activity.
“I have really enjoyed my role on the sporting side of the group and believe we now have that in very good shape.
“I am really motivated in helping to drive forward the overall business and helping to realise the exciting plans we have been putting in place in recent months.”
He added:“Clearly this is a very difficult time for the country on every level, but we have been working hard to ensure we have a robust business which will emerge from the current crisis in good shape and ready to really drive forward.”
Paying tribute to Stuart Cain, who moved to the top job at Edgbaston after three years at Wasps Group, Mr Richardson said: “Stuart has played an instrumental role in the business and I would like to thank him for his hard work and dedication.
“As sporting neighbours, I am sure our paths will cross again.”