September 07, 2022

Simon Graafhuis appointed CEO of Chiefs Rugby Club

The Chiefs Rugby Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Graafhuis as the new Chief Executive Officer. Simon brings a wealth of knowledge to the role from his time as Chief Financial Officer at Gallagher Group and previous finance roles within the dairy industry.

"Simon's engaging leadership style and strategic insight stood out in the selection process. His track record of growing people while giving them the freedom to shine will make him a great leader in the Chiefs environment," said Chiefs Rugby Club Board Chairman Bill Osborne.

Already a respected member of the Chiefs whānau, Graafhuis has been on the Board since 2017 and spent 18 months as Interim Chair before Osborne was appointed in August. Graafhuis holds a strong connection to the Waikato, having attended Hamilton Boys High School and the University of Waikato, of which he is a member on their council.

Speaking on the new role Graafhuis says, "I'm super excited about the transition into the new role. I have been fortunate enough to have been close to the Chiefs Rugby Club through my role on the Board and got to know the great people helping shape the club’s bright future.”

"It is with mixed emotions about leaving Gallagher where I have had an amazing time and worked with some truly inspiring people for the past 14 years, however, I am moving into a dream role with the Chiefs Rugby Club.”

Considering his extended commitment to Gallagher, and their strong relationship with the club, Osborne and Graafhuis visited Sir William Gallagher to get his endorsement. Sir William was very supportive of Simon's decision and will continue to be involved with him through their sponsorship of the Chiefs Rugby Club.

Simon Graafhuis appointed CEO of Chiefs Rugby Club