The West Coast Eagles will formally begin the search for the club’s next Chief Executive Officer after long-serving CEO Trevor Nisbett decided he would not seek to extend his tenure beyond October 2024.
Mr Nisbett and the club’s Board have discussed his position in the recent months and the club will now initiate its strategy to find a successor to the man who has occupied the club’s highest office for the last 25 years.
This process will occur during Mr Nisbett’s remaining contract term and comprise an extensive external search as well as an internal evaluation process followed by a comprehensive transition process commensurate with his significant knowledge and skills.
In all, one of the game’s most respected football authorities has been at the club for 34 years and been an integral part of the Eagles’ ascent to rank among the most successful clubs in Australian sport.
While the last couple of years have been lean on-field, he has been at the Eagles for all of its four premierships, has helped establish the strongest balance sheet in Australian sport and has seen the club break 100,000-member barrier in each of the last four years.
“I have been speaking to the Board for several months and we have agreed that the club needs to start the process of finding a new Chief Executive as I will not be seeking an extension to my current contract. I have also relayed the message to my staff this morning,” Mr Nisbett said.
“I have served the West Coast Eagles for 34 years, 25 years as the Chief Executive Officer and nine years as the General Manager of Football.
“During this time, the club has won four Premierships and played in seven Grand Finals, 24 finals campaigns, grown to more than 100,000 members, established the Waalitj Foundation, moved to Optus Stadium and moved to our new home at Mineral Resources Park.
“No expansion club in the national competition has been as successful as the West Coast Eagles.
“Over the course of my time as CEO the club has been committed to meeting the royalty commitment to the WAFC. We have never failed to deliver on our obligation and have comfortably exceeded it many times, contributing more than $70m in that time in royalties as well as providing a further $80m towards football development in WA.
“I have led the Club during these successes, but also during those times that we have really struggled, when winning feels a long way away.
“As has occurred previously I remain confident we will rebound.”
Club Chair Paul Fitzpatrick paid tribute to Mr Nisbett’s glowing list of achievements, both on and off field, that he has overseen in the last 34 years.
“No one in the history of our club has matched the impact that Trevor has had on our club and we will forever be indebted to him,” Mr Fitzpatrick said. “The strong on-field performances are an obvious barometer but he has been a visionary with so many of the off-field initiatives of our club.
“The establishment of the Waalitj Foundation (formerly the Wirrpanda Foundation), the establishment of the Community and Game Development department that has such a broad reach throughout the State and beyond and the club’s financial stability are second to none.
“But we agree the time is now right to implement a succession plan and we will begin the search for the next CEO, given Trevor is not seeking to extend his tenure.
“Trevor will remain as Chief Executive until his successor is in place and will assist in the transition. It is a daunting task to replace Trevor and we expect it will take some time to complete.”
The legacy that Mr Nisbett will leave will be everlasting.
The only administrator inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame, he is both a life member of the Eagles and the AFL.
“The AFL competition is elite and there are 18 teams fighting for the premiership every year,” Mr Nisbett continued. “You don’t win by just waiting your turn for success. You win by making the right decisions in the times when you are down and rebuilding.
“I started my career at East Perth when I was a borderline league player. But I played with a great team, who were loyal and committed to each other. That sense of being part of a team and being committed to a team-first ethos has driven me my whole career.
“As I work with the Chair and board on the next stage of the club’s leadership, I want to assure our members that I will do everything I can to leave the club on the right track with the right foundations for the next phase of success. This will mean staying the course and heading back to the draft for a third successive year.
“Our members are used to success and holding their heads high, but they are also loyal and committed as we’ve seen this year through a very tough period. The members know the next phase of on-field success will be delivered by hard work, stability and perseverance.
“I promise to do whatever I can to ensure the next CEO has the best start possible to deliver on the next phase, at which time I look forward to thanking my executive team, the staff, players, sponsors, members and fans for their commitment to our club, both past and present.”