Christopher Rodrigues CBE has been appointed as the new Chairman for the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association Ltd. (BBSA), the governing body which oversees the two Olympic sports of Bobsleigh and Skeleton. Â Former rower and businessman Rodrigues, who has been the Chairman of VisitBritain since 2007, was the outstanding candidate from an open recruitment process to find a new leader who can guide the organisation during an important phase of transformation.
One of the top priorities for Rodrigues will be the continuation of the merger process, which, it is hoped will see both the British Bobsleigh and British Skeleton organisations operate under a single, effective National Governing Body.Â In due course, this new organisation should be responsible for all aspects of both sports including elite performance, the development of Youth and Futures programmes, the development of para sport and the encouragement of wider participation.
Rodrigues is enthusiastic about the challenges ahead:Â â€œIt is an exciting time to be involved in British Olympic winter sport and in particular to lead two sports with such a credible sporting history in Great Britain.Â I know the two operations are in excellent shape as we head into the Sochi 2014 Olympic season and I hope I can add value off the track to ensure the sports continue to go from strength to strength.Â I look forward to meeting the athletes and team members as soon as I can.â€
Sports Minister The Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP welcomed the appointment:Â â€œChristopher Rodrigues is an excellent Chairman of VisitBritain who has all the necessary sports and commercial experience to be an outstanding Chairman of the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association. With six months to go until Sochi 2014 and British Olympic sport in such good health, this is an exciting time for the sports and Christopher is exactly the right man to lead it into this new era.â€
In a joint statement, Chairman of British Bobsleigh Sir Andrew Ridgway and Lord Clifton Wrottesley, Chairman of British Skeleton said:Â â€œWe are delighted to welcome Christopher to the team at such a pivotal and exciting time for Bobsleigh and Skeleton in the UK.Â His experience and insight will be invaluable for our sports both domestically and in the international arena and we are confident he will lead us through this transition to become an even more effective and efficient governing body.â€
Biography: Christopher Rodrigues CBE
Christopher Rodrigues became Chairman of VisitBritain on the 1stÂ January 2007 and Chairman of International Personal Finance in July of the same year.Â He is pro-bono Chairman of The Windsor Leadership Trust and The Almeida Theatre, and an advisor to Monitise plc.Â Â He is on the Council, and a Trustee, of the National Trust and is an executive committee member of the World Travel and Tourism Council.Â His previous career includes terms as President and CEO of Visa International; Group Chief Executive of Bradford and Bingley, Group Chief Executive at Thomas Cook and various senior positions at American Express.Â Â He was a NED at Ladbrokes plc (formerly Hilton Group) from 2003 until 1stÂ May 2013, was a founder NED of the Financial Services Authority (1997-2003) and spent the early part of his career at McKinsey and Co.
Christopher is a graduate of Cambridge University and the Harvard Business School.Â He rowed for Cambridge in the 1970 and 1971 Boat Races, is a past-Chairman of Leander Club and is a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta.Â He was made Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey in 2009 and a Visiting Professor at Cranfield School of Management in 2010.Â He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University of Surrey (DUniv) in April 2013.Â Christopher was made a Commander of the British Empire in the 2007 New Year Honours list for services to British business interests and charitable works in the UK and USA.