Susana Dinnage has been named the next chief executive of the Premier League, in an historic appointment that will see her become one of the most powerful women in sport globally.
Dinnage replaces Richard Scudamore, who is stepping down after a massive 19 years in the top job. She will be only the third person to lead the Premier League and the first woman in the role.
Dinnage is currently the global president of the Animal Planet channel with Discovery. Having started her career at music channel MTV, she went on to spend a decade with Channel Five. She joined Discovery in 2009, running operations across Britain and Ireland, including Eurosport.
The Premier League announces today that it has appointed Susanna Dinnage to the role of Chief Executive
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 13, 2018
Dinnage was not an initial frontrunner for the role, according to media reports, with former Prime Minister Tony Blair even being suggested as a potential candidate. Dinnage’s broadcast experience appears to have been key to her securing the role.
Dinnage is also an executive member of the Discovery Women’s Network.
“I am excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role. The Premier League means so much to so many people,” she said in a statement announcing the appointment.
“It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege.”
Bruce Buck, Chairman of Chelsea and the Premier League’s Nominations Committee, said on Dinnage’s appointment: “We had a very strong field, but Susanna was the outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption.”
“She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people. She is ideally suited to the role and we are confident she will be able to take the Premier League on to new heights.”
Dinnage will start in the role in early 2019.