Shane Nolan appointed as new Leinster CEO

Navan native will take over from Mick Dawson after joining from Google

Shane Nolan will take over from Mick Dawson as CEO of Leinster rugby with the latter staying on until November to facilitate the transition process. Dawson played an instrumental role in helping to turn Leinster into one of the best and most successful club sides in Europe during his 21 years with the province.

Nolan will join Leinster from Google where he held the position of managing director, new business sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has been a member of the Google Ireland Senior Leadership Team since 2017.

A native of Navan, Nolan was educated at St Vincent’s, Castleknock College where he was a head prefect (1989-1990) and then at NUIG where he captained the rugby 1st XV and while a student in Galway represented the Connacht Under-20s. He subsequently played for Navan RFC and is a decade long Leinster Rugby season ticket holder.

His business acumen incorporates leading senior teams in operations, sales, marketing, public relations and legal. His experience includes multi-stakeholder management including relationships with Government, regulatory, community and industry groups.


He has also held non-executive roles in Plan Ireland, IAB Ireland and Buy4Now Ltd. Before joining Google in 2011, he held executive management roles in eircom, BT Plc and Fujitsu. He said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be taking on the role of Leinster Rugby CEO.

“Leinster is a powerhouse in its field, both on and off the pitch, thanks to the brilliant leadership of Mick and all of the outstanding team at Leinster Rugby. I am excited to work with everyone in the organisation as we look to embark on the next stage of development and success.”

IRFU CEO Kevin Potts said: “Shane was a standout candidate in a very strong field of applicants. Shane’s impressive senior leadership experience, rugby background and passion for the game will provide Leinster Rugby with another great leader following on from the departure of Mick Dawson.

“I look forward to working with Shane in the months and years ahead, and wish him every success as we thank Mick for all that he has done for Leinster and Irish rugby.”

Debbie Carty, president of Leinster Rugby, said: “A lifelong sports enthusiast and active rugby supporter, Shane has an informed appreciation of the game across domestic and professional rugby in Leinster. We are excited to have him lead our outstanding team across the organisation through our next stage of development and growth.

“On behalf of all rugby people across the province, I’d like to thank Mick Dawson for his years of leadership and commitment to Leinster Rugby. He is a key architect of the successful development of Leinster Rugby in all its facets and he will leave an enduring legacy when he departs later this year.”

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer