Reds search for new CEO as Barker resigns

Jim Morton

Queensland Rugby Union chief executive Richard Barker has stepped down from his post due to family reasons.

The announcement was made by QRU chairman Jeff Miller on Monday but it has been weeks in the planning as Barker needs more time to devote to wife Tracey who is battling breast cancer.

Miller, who has already been overseas scouting potential replacements, said chief operating officer David Hanham would take over as interim chief executive in the meantime.

"Richard and I have been discussing the QRU's future requirements for a couple of months, given the changes that he has implemented here over the past two years," he said in a statement.

"I thank Richard for his significant contribution to the ongoing health of the code in Queensland. We wish Richard and his family the very best in the coming months and years."

Among his biggest calls was the decision to appoint former All Black Brad Thorn as Reds coach late last year

Former radio executive Barker, who started as CEO in early 2016, thanked the QRU board and said he believed Thorn had set the standards for his young team to reap the rewards in coming seasons.

"Those who know me well, know there's a bit going on in my life right now aside from rugby," he said.