Todd Greenberg Leaves Bulldogs For NRL Post, So Why Do We Need David Smith?

Canterbury Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg will leave his post at the Belmore based club today and take up a with role the NRL which is being described as Deputy Chief Executive of the NRL. Greenberg is expected to work under NRL CEO David Smith and will probably become the public face of the game.

NRL CEO David Smith has come under a lot of pressure over the last few days for not making himself available to the media. While a lot of the criticism is over the top and tabloid trash, the underlying point that the CEO should be out there on the front foot and engaging with the media is a valid one.

By appointing Greenberg, Smith will be able to do the job he was brought in to do without any distractions. Keep in mind, Smith was appointed for his business background. The game needed a leader that could focus on building the billion dollar business that is Rugby League in Australia. I’ve no doubt Smith is doing a lot of work behind the scenes, but he will be going with what he knows. In his world, you don’t need to deal with public sentiment. You don’t need to keep your customers in the loop seven days a week.

Greenberg is a great appointment because he is a great communicator. He knows how talk to fans, he is great when it comes to dealing with the media and he is no stranger with the pressures that come from being the person everyone wants to hear from in a crisis.

Here is the interesting thing in all of this….

The idea is that David Smith works in the background while Todd Greenberg is the public face of the game. From my point of view you can not be the CEO and not be seen to be the leading figure in the game.

If the NRL is bringing in Todd Greenberg to deal with the media and field questions that can only be answered by someone that is working at the very highest level, and we all know that Greenberg is a very capable CEO in his own right, what do we need David Smith for?

This is a question that is very embarrassing to have to ask and one that really needs to be answered by John Grant. I know if I was the CEO of the NRL and Todd Greenberg was brought in to help me do my job, I’d see the writing on the wall. I’d know my days would be numbered.

I’m sure this isn’t being planned. I’m sure the ARLC hasn’t decided to put Greenberg with the idea that he will eventually replace Smith, a man that has only been in the job for a few months himself. These things tend to have a momentum of their own though.

I think this is very embarrassing for David Smith, for John Grant, and eventually for Todd Greenberg, because he is going to be asked why he isn’t the CEO of the NRL by the end of the day!

I’ve said here before, I really rate Todd Greenberg as an administrator. I thought he would have been a great appointment as NRL CEO when the job become available last year. The ARLC didn’t want to appoint anyone from club land if they could have avoided it and David Smiths appointment came after some embarrassing moves to attract others to the job ahead of him.

Now, having only been in the job for a few months, the NRL has very publicly conceded that he is incapable of dealing with the media commitments required in his role as the NRL CEO. Considering he has only been in the job for a short amount of time, you have to wonder what else we will find he is incapable of doing.

What ever the case, Todd Greenberg is the NRL’s next CEO.

It is just a matter of time…

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