The Rugby Football Union Council has approved a Board of Directors recommendation for the appointment of Miles Templeman and Andrew Higginson as Independent Non Executive Directors of the RFU.

Miles Templeman has spent the last seven years as Director General of the Institute of Directors and was previously CEO of Bulmers and Managing Director of Whitbread Beer and Thresher. He has wide experience as a Non Executive Director and Chairman currently with Melrose plc and Shepherd Neame and previously with YO! Sushi, Ben Sherman and Accenture. His early career was with Procter and Gamble, Beecham and Levis in major brand marketing roles.

Andrew Higginson has been a Main Board Director of Tesco plc for the last 14 years, first as Finance and Strategy Director, and for the last three and a half years as Chief Executive of their Retailing Services business. His early career was with Unilever, Guinness, Laura Ashley and the Burton Group, and he has been a Non Executive Director of FirstGroup, Clarks and (currently) BSkyB.

RFU Chairman Paul Murphy said: “The Rugby Football Union is a growing organisation with a complex business model. Miles and Andrew are two high calibre individuals who will bring complementary experience and skills of great range and depth to the RFU in terms of Corporate Governance, and Commercial, Financial and Strategic acumen.

“Both are passionate about rugby and both have significant experience as Non Executive Directors in a wide range of sectors which will enhance the running of our business.

“These two appointments demonstrate our commitment to best practice and good corporate governance of the Rugby Football Union. They address one of the recommendations of the recent Blackett report.”

Andrew Higginson said: “Rugby is a great sport to be involved in and I’m delighted to be joining the RFU Board. Rugby is healthy in financial terms and in the richness of its deep-rooted values. I’ve seen the benefits of those values and the camaraderie it promotes at first hand through my involvement in the game as a parent and a volunteer.

“The sport faces many challenges but I hope to bring experience of creating winning organisations in tough markets, my own strengths in man management and team building, and a range of insight gained in over 30 years in business. As well as my executive career, I have a range of experience as a Non Executive Director, including in the professionally managed, family-owned business, Clarks Shoes, and in the media with BskyB.”

Miles Templeman said: “I am delighted to be joining the RFU board not only to help resolve the concerns and difficulties in governance and structure at the top of the game but also to help the development and success of rugby union both at a professional level and throughout the community game.”

Miles Templeman

Miles Templeman, Director General of the Institute of Directors from 2004 to 2011, began his career as a marketing specialist and gained his pedigree leading such major consumer brands as Daz, Ribena, Lucozade and then Levis jeans. He then moved to general management and became Managing Director of Threshers and then the Whitbread Beer Company. He had great success in building those companies, especially with the growth of such brands as Boddingtons and Stella Artois.

Miles then had a series of non-executive directorships and consultancy roles including Royal Mail, Ben Sherman and Accenture before becoming Chief Executive of Bulmers, which was eventually successfully sold to Scottish & Newcastle. Miles was also Non-Executive Chairman of restaurant chain YO! Sushi between 2003 and 2008.

A firm believer in the power of the brand and the importance of valuing your team, Miles is a passionate believer in the values of enterprise and assumed the role of Director General of the IoD in 2004, at a time when its membership, influence and relevance was steadily increasing, particularly with the growing importance of corporate governance, director standards and the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in business. One of the key objectives was to make the IoD more international and build its reputation as a centre of excellence for directors around the world.

Miles is Non Eecutive Chairman of Shepherd Neame, the Kentish family brewer; a Board Member of Young Enterprise; Enterprise Insight; and The European Confederation of Directors’ Associations (ecoDa); and Senior Non-Executive Director of Melrose plc, the buy-out specialist.

Andrew Higginson

Andrew Higginson has spent his entire career in consumer-facing businesses, first in FMCG with Unilever and Guinness, and for the last 21 years as a PLC Executive Director of retail businesses, Laura Ashley Holdings, The Burton Group, and for the last 14 years, Tesco plc.

With the exception of his three years at Burton Group, Andrew’s entire career has been in businesses with major international operations.

In addition, Andrew has held Non-Executive positions at FirstGroup plc, Clarks shoes and BSkyB plc. He has chaired the Audit Committee at all three, and led the search for a new Chairman at the family-controlled Clarks.

He has a very broad base of corporate experience, mainly from his 18 years as a Group FD in three different PLC’s. As Finance and Strategy Director at Tesco, he was at the heart of the team (under Terry Leahy’s leadership) responsible for Tesco’s remarkable growth over the last 14 years.

In addition to a strong and successful track record, and extensive experience, Andrew’s personal strengths include an ability to get to the heart of a problem quickly, strong people skills in selecting, coaching, motivating and leading teams, strong commercial acumen, and an ability to explain complex issues in simple and understandable way.

For the last three years he has been Chief Executive of the Retailing Services business at Tesco –, Tesco Bank, Tesco Telecomms, and DunnHumby. Combined, these businesses have Sales of c. £4bn pa, and annual profits of almost £600m, employing over 25,000 people. This is a portfolio role, each business having its own CEO reporting in to Andrew.

Although the main thrust of the Tesco strategy was organic growth, Andrew was involved in multiple acquisitions, the establishment and operation of key Joint Ventures (with RBS and O2), and has extensive property experience (Tesco has c.£36bn of own property), both in acquisitions and a substantial Sales and Leaseback programme.

He has been involved in a “float” (Badgerline plc), a public merger (Badgerline merged with Grampian Transport to form FirstGroup), a public defence (BSkyB from News Corporation).