Then Cricket Australia chairman David Peever speaks to the media alongside review subcommittee chairwoman Jacquie Hey in Melbourne on Monday. Picture: Penny Stephens/AAP
Then Cricket Australia chairman David Peever speaks to the media alongside review subcommittee chairwoman Jacquie Hey in Melbourne on Monday. Picture: Penny Stephens/AAP

Woman enters mix to take charge at Cricket Australia

IF CRICKET Australia wants an agent for cultural change in charge then the stage is set for Jacquie Hey to become the organisation's first chairwoman.

Hey, who also sits on the board of ASX top-50 companies Qantas and AGL Energy, has emerged as a leading candidate to replace chairman David Peever and steer the governing body through one of its most turbulent chapters.

Hey, who chaired CA's review subcommittee and delivered the report results alongside Peever on Monday, is widely respected by the sport's bigwigs and uniquely well placed to act on 42 recommendations put to the board.

A quick glance at The Ethics Centre's acknowledgements at the start of its 145-page report shows that Hey is the only person mentioned by name.

"We especially acknowledge the support of the CA board subcommittee, chaired by Jacquie Hey. This group has been scrupulous in facilitating and protecting the independence of our work," the report notes.

Hey is also believed to have played a key behind-the-scenes role in helping improve the relationship between CA and the players' union, which was was listed as The Ethics Centre's most urgent request given the destabilising effect of last year's bitter pay dispute.

She was previously a non-executive director of SBS and is said to have an interest in diversity, another area in which CA has been asked to lift its game by The Ethics Centre.

the 52-year-old has smashed through the glass ceiling at the same time CA has gone from laggard to leader in women's sport, having become the organisation's first female director back in 2012.

"I was welcomed with open arms. I was very conscious of being the only woman," Hey said after her first CA board meeting, in 2012.

"But I felt really lucky today, because walking in there I knew I was being judged on merit."

Hey spent more than 20 years climbing the corporate ladder while working for Ericsson around the world.

That experience included a stint overseeing the Swedish telecommunications giant's operations in Saudi Arabia, one of the world's most conservative societies.

Those fans wanting "dyed-in-the-wool cricket people" to "stand up and take back their sport", as CA's former chief executive Malcolm Speed urged, will be disappointed with the fact Hey never played beyond the beach or backyard.

Hey, like Peever, was brought in as an independent director as part of CA's governance reforms but she has previously conveyed a love of cricket in convincing fashion.

"When I got the call about the possibility of this role - normally I'm a calm, corporate person - but I was dancing around the lounge room with excitement," she said in 2012.

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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