My Career Story: John Harnden, CEO, ICC Cricket World Cup

JohnHarndenMy CV

Current role: Chief Executive Officer, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
Previous roles:
Chief Executive Officer, South Australian Cricket Association
Chief Executive - International Theme Parks at Village Roadshow Limited

Chief Executive Officer at Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games

Chief Executive Officer at Australian Grand Prix Corporation

Deputy Chief Executive and Event Manager at Australian Grand Prix Corporation
Harvard Business School 
University of Adelaide 
Date of Birth: 28 June 1965

GlobalSportsJobs: You have been involved in several sports and sporting events over the course of your career and it is clearly a passion of yours, but what do you believe are the key differences between the sports industry and other industries as a place to work?

John Harnden: The key differences are the people and the immediacy of the outcomes and undertaking all of this within a passionate environment of not only the people you’re working with, but the media and the fans that love these sports and events.

GlobalSportsJobs: When was your big break in your career?

JH: 1989 – being given the opportunity to work in the project management team for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Adelaide.

GlobalSportsJobs: What was the best piece of career advice you ever received?

JH: Treat everyone as you expect to be treated yourself.

GlobalSportsJobs: What was the biggest challenge or the most difficult decision of your career so far?

JH: Being part of the team that delivered the first Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne in 1996.

GlobalSportsJobs: How do you believe recruiting practices have changed within the sports industry since you first became involved in 1994 with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation?

JH: I think the sports industry has grown and transformed from a small industry to, together with tourism, become one of the biggest and most powerful industries in the world and along with that, the number and calibre of individuals has similarly grown where recruiting for key roles within the sports industry now has every bit of effort thrown behind it as for big multinational corporations seeking key staff.

GlobalSportsJobs: What are the key traits you look for in a candidate for a job?

JH: Attitude, personal style, flexibility, ability to work hard over long periods and attention to detail.

GlobalSportsJobs: ...and what is the most common mistake you come across from someone applying for a job in the sports industry?

JH: Trying to be someone they’re not.

GlobalSportsJobs: From a recruiter’s perspective, what is the biggest challenge when hiring for a one-off event, such as the Cricket World Cup, rather than a permanent position?

JH: It’s finding the right people that are available at the right time and being able to provide a career path for them for once the event is over. 

GlobalSportsJobs: What are your future career aspirations?

JH: Run the best ever Cricket World Cup and have a holiday.

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