South Australian Gillon McLachlan is the AFL’s new CEO.
McLachlan, who grew up in South Australia, proved his mettle when he filled in for two months during 2012 while Demetriou went on long service leave.
McLachlan and Demetriou have worked closely since they both joined the AFL almost 14 years ago and he is expected to make changes to the league’s governance structure.
While McLachlan has not played footy at the highest level, he was a ruckman with University Blues, who he also captained, won a best and fairest with and is a life member.
McLachlan was born into a wealthy South Australian sheep farming family, and both he and younger brother Hamish – a Channel 7 football commentator – helped out on the property.
He obtained a law degree from Melbourne University, and is regarded as a shrewd negotiator who is able to get results with an affable manner.
He has played a pivotal role in the creation of the league’s 17th and 18th clubs, Gold Coast Suns, and GWS, the set up of the AFL’s media division and has been integral to the AFL’s ever-increasing broadcast reach and revenue.
The most testing role for McLachlan was his recent appointment as the AFL’s acting football boss to oversee the investigation into Melbourne’s tanking claims in 2012.
He also headed the negotiations with Essendon over its contentious supplements program last year.
He has been labeled as an “elegant, urban and chivalrous” private school boy by Fox Sports, pointing to his sporting background in polo and Aussie Rules.
McLachlan showed his commitment to Demetriou and AFL when he rejected the top job of NRL’s chief executive role in 2012.