John McGuigan appointed as Chair of Scottish Rugby Limited

Former Customer Director at Phoenix Group fills position vacated by sudden resignation of John Jeffrey last month

John McGuigan has been appointed Chair of Scottish Rugby Limited. Image: Scottish Rugby
John McGuigan has been appointed Chair of Scottish Rugby Limited. Image: Scottish Rugby

SCOTTISH RUGBY LIMITED – the operating arm of the Scottish Rugby Union – has announced the appointment of John McGuigan as its new Chair. The position has been occupied by Cheryl Black, a custodian director of the organisation’s parent board, on interim basis after John Jeffrey stood down with immediate effect last month.

McGuigan’s most recent role was Group Customer Director at Phoenix Group –  a provider of insurance services based in London which is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index – until he retired last year. Prior to that he held senior roles in Telefonica both in the UK and Europe.

He is also an executive coach with Merryck & Co and the Chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise which represents the interests of financial service companies in Scotland.

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“John brings a wealth of experience from a career leading the design and delivery of excellent customer experience in conjunction with multiple stakeholders,” said a statement issued by Scottish Rugby.

On his appointment, McGuigan said: “Rugby has played an important role in my life for many years now. I’m a passionate supporter of the game, and sport in general, for the unique way it brings people of all ages and backgrounds together behind a common goal.

“I’m delighted to be joining as Chair at such an appealing time for the sport with the growth of the women’s game, an exciting Rugby World Cup ahead and the return of the domestic game to a full schedule, post-Covid. I’m looking forward to working with our communities across Scotland and beyond to capitalise on the opportunities for the game that lie ahead.

Professor Lorne Crerar, Chair of the Scottish Rugby Union, said: “The Board is delighted to approve the appointment of John as the new Chair of Scottish Rugby Limited, the operating company responsible for the day-to-day business of Scottish rugby.

“It has been a thorough and detailed process to find the right candidate for this critical appointment. We are looking forward to working with John and ensuring our new governance arrangements for Scottish Rugby deliver for our member clubs and stakeholders.”

“I would like to thank Cheryl Black who had taken on the role as Interim Chair of Scottish Rugby Limited and will now return to her permanent role as a Custodian Director on the Scottish Rugby Union Board. “

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, added: “We are pleased to welcome John into the Scottish Rugby family with the extensive experience he offers as we continue to grow and develop across all levels of the game.”

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About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Let’s hope John Boy really is going to be “the Man” – and with which factions or with whom he becomes most closely aligned.

    Always lots of “fluff” when such newbies are introduced to the eager world of Scottish rugby (small “r”)….. Nb, he only joined Merryck as a business coach in February, and despite the Game having evidently played an “important role” in his life doesn’t boast any immediately perceptible background, prior involvement or connections in the field of rugby.

    By all accounts Mr McG had recently reached several crossroads in his career, and was looking for yet another part-time job to add to his strongly “Customer Services / Customer Experience” and board-table-polishing flavour CV. Another velvet-tongued branding marketeer looking to fill his boots, to following in the disastrous footsteps of the late unlamented Dirty Dom?

    Here’s a potted history from the man himself: “John has over 35 years of experience across Financial Services, Healthcare and TMT. He has worked internationally at ExCo level for global corporations, FTSE100 organisations and in the public sector. He has been recognised for his extensive knowledge of developing and delivering market leading customer experience working in partnership with brands including Apple, Google and TCS. John’s most recent role was Group Customer Director at Phoenix Group and as a member of the ExCo he was responsible for the development and delivery of an omni channel experience. John was part of the core team who sold Standard Life to Phoenix in 2018, and he was involved in a range of M&A activity whilst at Telefónica. John is now Chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise, a Non-Executive for the Scottish Ambulance Service and an advisor to Fintech companies.”

  2. What an interesting appointment. Extensive business experience in executive roles. A business coach and NED.

    Getting someone with proven capability to chair an organisation.

    Best wishes in the new roles John.


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