Test Match Sofa
Storey succeeds Loring at Derbyshire
By Andy Wilson
Derbyshire have named a new chief executive to succeed Keith Loring, who has decided the time is right to step aside. He is to be replaced by Simon Storey, a 42-year-old from Essex who joins the club after leaving his role as the head of giant American pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson’s operations in Switzerland.
Storey takes over on May 1 after turning down the chance to manage the company’s strategy as major sponsors of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to come to Derbyshire.
Loring is to remain with the club through the summer as a consultant to advise the new man but after three and a half years in the job, during which time he has pushed through major improvements in facilities at the County Ground, he says he has fulfilled his mandate.
“When I took over as chief executive I came to develop the ground and I’ve done that but what am I going to do next? Build another stand? Put up another marquee?” he said. “I’ve no more money, so I don’t know what else I could do, but every time I walk around this ground I will be proud.
“I have been saying to people I deal with for some time that I am not going to be around for the rest of my life because I’ve got other things to do. I’ve taken the club as far as I can take it. I’m very proud of what I have achieved but there is a danger you can start just going round and round without getting anywhere. This is a fresh start for the club and quite a nice way to hand over.”
Loring took over as Derbyshire chief executive following the departure of Tom Sears in October 2008 and joined the county club as commercial manager in 2003, earning much of the credit for helping turn a failing business into a profitable one. Before then, he spent seven years as chief executive of Derby County FC, overseeing their move to Pride Park from the Baseball Ground.
Storey has never worked in sport but says a love of cricket was deeply ingrained from a very early age by his father and grandfather. The last 20 years of his working life have been in commerce, 14 of them with Johnson & Johnson, but he has specialised in international sport marketing. During his seven years in Switzerland, he managed the company’s strategy as a major sponsor of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Swapping the Swiss Alps for the Derbyshire Peaks may seem an odd move but after deciding he wanted to bring his three young sons back to the UK for their education, Storey says the Derbyshire job is the ideal career move.
“It was very clear as I went through the process with the chairman and the committee that Derbyshire was the best fit for me for the future,” he said. “The opportunity to be able to play a leading part in guiding an organisation like Derbyshire to the next level was one I just could not refuse. I really believe the direction the club is heading is extremely exciting and extremely positive.”
He was educated at Loughborough University at the same time as Derbyshire chairman Chris Grant, who has paid his tribute to Loring’s contribution. “Keith has worked tirelessly to improve the off-field performance at Derbyshire in his three and a half years as chief executive,” he said.
“He has been instrumental in transforming the look of the County Ground and that is his legacy. I’m absolutely delighted that the club will be able to retain access to his commercial skills and I am convinced that Keith will unlock additional revenue streams in his new consultancy role.”
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