Sharks confirm Teichmann’s appointment

The Sharks have confirmed that former Springbok number eight and captain Gary Teichmann will replace John Smit as their new chief executive.

Stephen Saad, the chairman of The Sharks board of directors, announced Teichmann's appointment which is effective from August 2.

Smit will assist Gary with the transition process until the conclusion of the 2016 rugby season.

Teichmann has a proven track record as a leader and he was a colossal figure for the Sharks and the Springboks, as well as an instrumental member of Natal’s highly successful team of the nineties.  

Like his predecessor, Smit, Teichmann is a team man to the core and has an absolute passion for the Sharks brand.

"I would like to officially welcome Gary to his role as CEO," said Saad.

"He is a man who has the respect of the entire community and his leadership at both franchise and national level is commendable. Apart from his rugby attributes, he has a sound financial track record and has successfully run a business for close on 20 years now, which has an impressive turnover annually.

"When discussing the role with Gary he stated at the outset that he’s not taking this on for the money, but rather for the passion and love of Sharks rugby. 

"He is committed to taking The Sharks to where they belong.

"We as a board have thanked John for his massive contribution over the past three years, but I also think it is important to reaffirm that John has managed a very challenging period and he has done so with aplomb. 

"Certain media reports stated that we’ve had a decline in revenue under John, which is incorrect. 

"In fact under him, we have had an increase in our revenue base. 

"He was also instrumental in patching up a fractured relationship with the city. But most importantly, he has dealt with the problems internally and he can proudly handover a business based on integrity to Gary. 

"In all instances John has played the ball and not the man and we as the board would really like to thank him for that."

Smit stated: "Congratulations to Gary on his appointment. When I announced to Stephen at the beginning of the year my intention to step down, I think one of my biggest concerns was who was going to come next. 

"It is satisfying to know that Gary is going to take over the baton. I am at his disposal, if he needs me. My three years as CEO have been phenomenal, and as difficult as the past three weeks have been with all the speculation, it has not marred my time in the role. 

"We have managed to address many issues during my tenure and I know that the process will continue on an upward curve with Gary at the helm. To Stephen, the rest of the board and the staff, thank you for the three years and know that I will always be there to assist, in whatever capacity, if need be."

Teichman is excited to return to the Sharks.

“It is a huge honour for me to be involved with rugby and The Sharks once again," he said. 

"The sport but more especially this place has been a huge part of my life and when this opportunity came up and I heard from the board, about their vision going forward, I was excited and wanted to be a part of it.  

"I think it’s a difficult business to be in with all the challenges, but we have got to make sure we work through those challenges. 

"John has had some tough times in the job and had to sort out some issues and I think he has done a great job.  

"I believe that rugby belongs to everyone and I will certainly draw on the support of John and the other ex-players who’ve had a huge part to play in getting the place to where it is."