Rahul Johri is BCCI's CEO

"I am honored at the opportunity to serve millions of Indian cricket fans. It will be my utmost endeavor to contribute to the Indian cricket," said Rahul. He was Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s executive vice president and general manager for South Asia.

Rahul will start his new role from June 1 from BCCI’s Mumbai office.   -  Special Arrangement

In a major step to create an impression of itself as a professional set-up, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced Rahul Johri as its first-ever Chief Executive Officer. Johri, after spending two decades in the media industry, will join in his new role on June 1.

Johri quit Discovery Networks after spending 15 years with the broadcasting major. He was Discovery Networks Asia Pacific’s executive vice-president and general manager for south Asia.

“We welcome Rahul aboard and wish him luck for his new role at BCCI,” said Anurag Thakur, BCCI secretary, in a statement. “In the past one year, BCCI has undertaken various initiatives aimed towards transforming the working of BCCI in order to make the functioning more robust. This endeavor is another initiative of the board aimed in the same direction and will mark one more milestone towards strengthening the professional working of the BCCI.”

Johri, according to the BCCI statement, will report to the BCCI secretary. Interestingly, according to the BCCI rulebook, which in itself is under the scanner, the secretary is equipped with all the executive powers. It remains to be seen if Johri will be given freedom to work independently in a set-up that’s traditionally controlled by honorary office-bearers.

'Honoured'

Rahul said, “I am honoured at the opportunity to serve millions of Indian cricket fans. It will be my utmost endeavor to contribute to Indian cricket. I am thankful to the President and Honorary Secretary of the BCCI for bestowing such faith in me. I look forward to everyone's support to fulfill this tremendous responsibility.”

Johri’s appointment is largely perceived as a fallout of the wrath drawn by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha panel, which was asked to recommend administrative reforms in Indian cricket. Pre-empting the Justice Lodha panel’s rage, the BCCI in October last year had launched a “Project Transformation” for reconstituting its administrative wing. The key decisions made then was the appointment of a CEO and a CFO (Chief Financial Officer).

Sportstar understands that the process of appointing CFO is in place and the CFO will be unveiled soon. Deloitte, the auditing giant, has been roped in to help BCCI scan candidates for both the posts.

In 2005, soon after taking over as the BCCI president, Sharad Pawar had appointed Tata Consultancy Services to suggest reforms. The TCS report was the stepping stone for introducing administrative and developmental wings of the BCCI. Prof. Ratnakar Shetty was appointed as the chief administrative officer while cricket operations and game development arms were set up soon afterwards.