Richard Thompson - Chair
Richard became Chair of the ECB on September 1, 2022. He is the founder and Chair of talent management agency M&C Saatchi Merlin and Chair of the broader M&C Saatchi UK Group; Chairman of Southshore Group (ITV-Owned TV production company) and was previously Chair of Surrey County Cricket Club, the 2018 county champions. Richard left school at 16 and set up his first business at 19, a computer sales group. Ten years later, he set up EMS, which he turned into a £25m sales and marketing agency before selling to Mosaic Group. In 2003, he set up a talent management agency, Merlin Elite, for leading names in sport and entertainment, selling a 60% stake to M & C Saatchi in 2013. In 2020 Richard was appointed as Chair of the broader M&C Saatchi UK Group. As Chair of Surrey, Richard presided over a turnaround in the county’s fortunes both on and off the field. Richard is also the Chair and Founder of Sport United Against Dementia – SUAD, part of the Alzheimer’s Society.
Pete Ackerley - Cricket Non-Executive Director
Pete has over 25 years senior experience in sports development. He has been a member of the ECB’s Participation and Growth Board, Non-Executive Director of the Lancashire Cricket Foundation, Chair of Lord’s Taverners Charitable Programmes and a Trustee of the England and Wales Cricket Trust, as well as being a former Head of Development for the ECB. He is currently Chief Executive Officer of the British American Football Association, and Chair of Trustees of Wembley National Stadium Trust. Other previous roles include Head of Participation for the Football Association.
Pete is the ECB Board Lead for Welfare.
Penny Avis - Independent Non-Executive Director
Penny is a former Deloitte Corporate Finance partner and UK board member and a hugely experienced Non-Executive Director. While at Deloitte, she was the lead partner on more than fifty transactions covering a wide range of geographies and industry sectors. She is the Senior Independent Director at the PGA European Tour, former chair of the Deloitte Former Partners' Association, and a former Non-Executive Director at UK Athletics, Cifas, Envestors, and Equitable Life.
Katie Bickerstaffe - Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
Katie Bickerstaffe joined the ECB's Board in September 2019 as an Independent Non-Executive Director. She has extensive experience managing and transforming businesses and is currently co-CEO of Marks and Spencer PLC while also serving on their board and operating committee as an executive director. She is additionally a Non executive director of Barratt Developments PLC and the Remuneration Committee chair. Previously she was Executive Chair of SSE Energy Services (part of SSE Plc). Prior to this she was Chief Executive of Dixons Carphone Plc (UK and Ireland), having previously worked with many leading global companies including PepsiCo, Unilever and Dyson. A keen sportsperson, she is passionate about growing cricket, particularly the women's and girls’ game and continues to play cricket at her local club.
Alan Dickinson - Cricket Non-Executive Director
Alan is a highly regarded retail and commercial banker having had over 40 years’ experience of high-level roles in retail and corporate banking, including as Chief Executive of RBS UK. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Lloyds Banking Group and Chair of the listed property company Urban & Civic plc. Alan is Chairof ECB’s Audit and Risk Committee having been a member since 2012. He was formerly Treasurer of Surrey County Cricket Club.
Richard Gould - Chief Executive Officer
Richard became Chief Executive Officer in February 2023, arriving at the ECB with significant leadership experience from major organisations across sport. He joined the ECB from Bristol City Football Club, where he was CEO since 2021. Prior to that he served as CEO at first Somerset County Cricket Club for 6 years and then Surrey County Cricket Club for 10 years. At Surrey Richard was instrumental in the launch of the ACE Programme in 2020, which is now an independent charity designed to engage a new generation of children and young people from Black communities within the recreational game and talent pathway. He is a Trustee of We Are With You, a nationwide charity that supports people with mental health issues and to make positive behavioural changes with alcohol and drug use. Before his career he served as an officer with the Royal Tank Regiment, leaving the British Army as a Major. He completed the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School in 2009.
Sir Ron Kalifa - Independent Non-Executive Director
Sir Ron Kalifa is Chairman of Network International, a FTSE company and leading payments operator. Ron is a Non-Executive Director of the Court of Directors to the Bank of England, a Trustee of the Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales and a member of the Council of Imperial College London. He authored the Government-commissioned independent Review which defined a strategy and delivery model for the Fintech and high growth sectors of the economy. Ron was also CEO of Worldpay for over 10 years and later Vice Chairman, developing it from a small start-up and transforming it to a globally recognised company. He spent his career in finance across the UK, Europe and the USA and has covered many aspects of business including strategy, marketing and operations. Sir Ron was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year 2018 Honours List and knighted in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday 2022 Honours List for services to financial services, technology and public service.
Baroness Zahida Manzoor CBE - Independent Non-Executive Director
Baroness Manzoor is a former regional chair of the NHS, Trustee of the NSPCC and is currently the Chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2013, having amassed significant Board experience in large, complex organisations. Educated at the University of Leeds and the University of Bradford, she has been awarded five honorary doctorates in recognition of her achievements.
Jennifer Owen Adams - Cricket Non-Executive Director
Jennifer was previously Chair of Cricket Wales. Educated at Loughborough University, she spent most of her professional career in education and the 'Third' sectors. She has been a member of the ECB’s Participation and Growth committee, is an Independent Member of the Powys Teaching Health Board, inaugural Chair of dance organisation Impelo, and a former director of Wales, Midlands and North West for education charity Teach First.
Jennifer is the ECB Board Lead for Safeguarding.
Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE - Cricket Non-Executive Director
Ebony won the ICC Women’s World Cup and the ICC World T20 with England in 2009, playing 22 One Day Internationals and seven IT20 matches for her country during her career as a player. She was Director of Women’s Cricket for Surrey County Cricket Club until 2022 and founded the successful African-Caribbean Engagement (ACE) Programme, creating opportunities for young cricketers from Black communities. She is also a popular broadcaster.
Ebony is the ECB Board Lead for EDI.
Scott Smith - Chief Financial Officer
Scott is Chief Financial Officer and a member of ECB’s Board, responsible for financial reporting and business planning. His work enables the organisation to budget effectively, control expenditure and deliver its revenue objectives. Scott also leads key business services including Legal & Integrity, Information & Technology and Procurement, as well as the Finance team. He has over two decades of experience in financial leadership across sectors spanning sport, property, construction and consultancy. With a classical grounding from PricewaterhouseCoopers, his more recent roles have been in motor racing and sailing’s America’s Cup.
Gareth Williams - Cricket Non-Executive Director
Gareth was Chair of Glamorgan County Cricket Club from 2018 until joining the ECB Board in May 2023. A solicitor, he was the senior partner at Wales’s largest law firm, Hugh James, for 12 years before his retirement from the partnership in 2017. Gareth specialised in sports law, representing a wide range of national governing bodies, clubs and high profile individuals. In addition, Gareth has been Chair of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and of the University of South Wales.