NRL heavyweights Melbourne Storm have gone with a left-field choice for their new chief executive, naming long-time AFL administrator Justin Rodski to replace Dave Donaghy.
His appointment to the reigning NRL champions paves the way for Donaghy to be officially announced as the Broncos' new boss.
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Most recently Essendon's chief commercial and customer officer, Rodski will have to steer the Storm through the post Cameron Smith/Craig Bellamy era.
Without a Storm contract, former captain Smith is expected to retire or play with Gold Coast, while coach Bellamy is off-contract at the end of the 2021 season and is tipped to take up a director of coaching role with Brisbane.
Rodski has spent the past 10 years at the Bombers and was their media manager during the damaging supplements saga. Like Donaghy he was previously a journalist.
"The Storm is one of the most respected, successful and prominent sporting organisations in the country," Rodski said in a statement.
The challenge to build on this strong foundation and lead the club through its next period of growth and success is an incredibly exciting opportunity."
Rodski was a standout candidate for Storm
Storm chairman Matt Tripp said Rodski was a stand-out candidate despite his inexperience as a CEO.
"Justin has established credentials, is well respected in the industry and has a great understanding of what it takes to run a high performing club in a highly-competitive market," Tripp said.
"We were also impressed with his values and approach to people which very much aligned with the Storm way."
Rodski will start in his new role with the Storm on February 15, with Donaghy set to become Brisbane's new CEO in March, replacing Paul White.
Melbourne were initially looking to enforce a six-month non-compete clause, unhappy with Brisbane poaching Donaghy and also going after Bellamy to coach their struggling team.
But with their new Storm boss now in place, they appear to be relaxing that hard-ball stance.
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