Bats and Boardrooms: The Inspirational Saga of Scott Weenink’s Dual Careers

Bats and Boardrooms: The Inspirational Saga of Scott Weenink's Dual Careers

Former LawFuel Power Law List member Scott Weenink, a former M&A lawyer, has taken the helm at New Zealand Cricket as the CEO.

Weenink, 50, has played 12 first-class and seven List A games for Wellington from 1995 to 1997.

Bats and Boardrooms: The Inspirational Saga of Scott Weenink's Dual Careers

He is the brother of Power List member Mark Weenink, presently General Counsel at Todd Corporation and formerly Managing Partner at MinterEllisonRuddWatts and General Counsel at Westpac.

Scott Weenink appeared in the LawFuel Power List in 2017.

As a promising Wellington player, Scott Weenink occasionally took the field as a reserve fielder in test matches and one-day internationals at the Basin Reserve. An ODI appearance against Pakistan stands out, not for heroics, but for a memorable missed catch.

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Transitioning from cricket to a soaring corporate career, Weenink’s journey took a new trajectory. Initially a corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions lawyer, he went on to accumulate executive experience across diverse industries including financial services, private equity, and telecommunications.

Most recently he has been General Counsel at Auckland Airport before moving to Modica Group, in which he held an equity stake and joined in 2018.

He was Non-Executive Director of Generate Investment Management Ltd, the manager of the Generate KiwiSaver Scheme, where he has sat on the Board of Directors since August 2016.

He has stepped down from four of the five non-executive director roles he held previous to this appointment. He remains on a school board of trustees.

Recently, he has focused on non-executive director roles, particularly with the NZ Cricket Players Association (NZCPA) since 2017. His ability to interpret environments and his emotional intelligence are attributes highlighted by Martin Snedden, chair of NZ Cricket, who introduced Weenink during his announcement.

Snedden’s elaboration on Weenink’s legal and business background underscored his suitability for the role.

His background draws on a variety of working experiences in New Zealand, the UK, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and a sporting experience just as colourful, including Oxford University Blues in both cricket and rugby.

The mention of emotional intelligence aimed at preempting potential concerns of NZ Cricket’s leadership reflecting homogeneity. The organization’s goal to shift its elitist image to that of inclusivity and diversity was subtly acknowledged.

While not as closely linked to cricket as previous CEOs, Weenink’s involvement with NZCPA offers insights into his rapport with players. Engaging in international working groups during his tenure, he’s well-versed in the intricate politics of world cricket.

As NZ Cricket faces challenges in retaining players amidst the proliferation of lucrative T20 leagues, which is something he has to deal with as a developing issue for the sport.

He also works as a community coach and participant in Last Man Stands cricket, and is resolute about nurturing grassroots cricket. For him, a thriving community foundation sets the stage for high performance and commercial success.

Cricketer to CEO: Scott Weenink’s Journey

Businessman and former Wellington first-class cricketer Scott Weenink has been appointed chief executive of New Zealand Cricket. The 50-year-old father of four replaces David White, who stepped down from the role earlier this month.

Weenink was initially a corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions lawyer, before gaining extensive executive and governance experience in a wide range of industries, including funds management, financial services, private equity, telecoms/technology, infrastructure, and sport.

Over recent years he has been the chair of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, a position from which he will now step down.

New Zealand Cricket Board chair Martin Snedden said Mr Weenink was the preferred candidate in a strong field of applicants.

“Scott had a great deal to offer in all the key areas, plus some special experiences that specifically suited the skillset needed in this position,” he said.

“He understands the relationship between community and high performance sport; he’s very familiar with world cricket affairs and current issues, and he’s spent a significant time running organisations and projects within Asia, obviously a major region of importance for NZC.

“Scott understands cricket,” said Snedden. “He understands its context in New Zealand; where it’s come from, where it is now, and where it should be going.

“It was a great honour to be offered the position,” Weenink said. “I love sport and cricket in particular, and I also love the business of sport – so this seemed like an ideal role.

“There’s a finely balanced, symbiotic relationship between community and high performance cricket in New Zealand and one of my key responsibilities is to ensure that’s maintained and sustained into the future.”

Familiarising himself with the role and meeting key stakeholders would be high on his list of priorities.

“I’m looking forward to getting around the Major and District Associations, gaining an understanding of their environments and, equally, spending time with the high performance team at Lincoln,” he said.

“There’s a lot of people I need to meet and listen to, including our commercial and broadcast partners; there’s a lot to learn from the NZC team, and we have a huge period of cricket coming right at us, so there’s no time to lose.”

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