Tonga’s Rugby interim CEO’s job terminated after failed interview

Tonga’s Rugby Union board has terminated its contract with its interim CEO Talanoa Fuka Kitekei’aho.

The post is occupied for the moment by former ‘Ikale Tahi captain and interim President Fe’ao Vunipola, who is acting as executive chairman while the Board advertises the post for a second time.

Tonga Rugby Union Board member ‘Āminiasi Kefu said Kitekei’aho had failed to prove to an interview panel last Friday that he possessed the expertise and skills the panel was looking for.

The panelists included former ‘Ikale Tahi and business owner Pēseti Maʻafu, Tonga’s former Attorney General and Minister of Law, ʻĀlisi Taumoepeau, businessman John Paul Chapman, Tonga’s Acting Attorney General, ʻĀminiasi Kefu, Bruce Cook from Rugby World Cup and Vunipola.

Kefu told Kaniva News the post was advertised in the middle of the year, but the interview was postponed after a

Outgoing CEO Fuka Talanoa Kitekei'aho
Outgoing CEO Talanoa Fuka Kitekei’aho

request from outgoing President ‘Epeli Taione to leave it until after this year’s Rugby World Cup tournament.

When the interview was conducted on December 16, Kitekei’aho was the only applicant left on the list after the other applicants withdrew, Kefu said.

The panel submitted a report on its findings to the Board on December 18 saying Kitekei’aho did not possess the general competence they were looking for in somebody who was going to fill the role of CEO for the Rugby Union, Kefu said.

The board unanimously approved the panel’s report, Kefu said.

Kitekei’aho was given a one-month payment in advance after his post was officially terminated according to Kefu.

The main points

  • Tonga’s Rugby Union board has terminated its contract with its Interim CEO Fuka Talanoa Kitekei’aho.
  • The post is occupied for the moment by former ‘Ikale Tahi captain and Interim President Fe’ao Vunipola while the Board advertises the post for a second time.
  • Tonga Rugby Union Board member ‘Aminiasi Kefu said Kitekei’aho had failed to prove to an interview panel last Friday that he possessed the expertise and skills the panel was looking for.
  • Kefu told Kaniva News the post was advertised in the middle of the year, but the interview was postponed after a request from outgoing President ‘Epeli Taione to leave it until after the Rugby World Cup.

For more information

Long wait for new Tonga Rugby CEO ‘frustrating’ (RNZI)

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