HomeNewsKNCB CEO Milena van Not to leave after ten months

KNCB CEO Milena van Not to leave after ten months

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Dutch cricket was again thrown into confusion on Wednesday afternoon, when a statement on the KNCB website announced that the Board and CEO Milena van Not had ‘agreed after mutual consultation to the termination of the co-operation between Ms. Van Not and the KNCB,’ in other words, that Ms. Van Not’s contract was being terminated.

Ms. Van Not’s appointment was announced in November 2020, and she took over from her predecessor, Jaap Wals, early this year.

She was the KNCB’s fourth CEO in less than seven years, and the fifth if one includes Betty Timmer, CEO of the Bond’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Cricket Nederland BV.

Although the statement presents the ending of her contract as a matter of mutual consent, Emerging Cricket understands that in fact her departure is the result of a unilateral decision by the Board.

Its statement claims that ‘In the past few weeks we have conducted a number of discussions over the policy to be pursued by the KNCB and its office with regard to the immediate and longer-term future. It has become clear from these that the ideas and objectives of the two parties are unreasonably far distant from each other.’

There is no indication of what the policy differences are which have led to the effective dismissal of a CEO who was welcomed with such enthusiasm less than a year ago. It does not seem to be related in any way to the failure of the national men’s team in the current World T20 Cup.

The Board, indeed, thanks the outgoing CEO for ‘her commitment and the services which she has delivered in a brief period, by which many difficult matters have been dealt with by the office.’

Ms. Van Not herself is quoted as saying:
‘It is regrettable that we have not been able to reach agreement. I look back with pleasure on what we have been able to establish in the past year: working together with the clubs towards a new inclusivity and diversity policy. But also that we were one of the few sporting bodies to be able to organise a competition during the pandemic, co-operation with NOC*NSF [the Dutch Olympic Committee], the start of a full-time programme for the Dutch women’s team, and the livestreaming of the competition.’

Many clubs were concerned at the time of the April general meeting of the KNCB, at which Ms. Timmer stepped down as chair because of a perceived conflict of interest between that position and her paid employment within the BV, that the creation of two CEO positions would be a recipe for conflict, but it is not clear whether that is a factor in the Board’s decision.

The Bond CEO’s role is governed by a Directiestatuut [Management regulations], established by the Board in November 2020, which gives her the tasks of proposing policy to the Board and implementing it once it has been approved, as well as leading and managing the staff, turning the vision and strategy of the KNCB into concrete plans and activities, and representing the Bond to external bodies, including the ICC.

This governance model explicitly gives the Board responsibility for defining vision and strategy and for oversight of the tasks assigned to the CEO and the other staff members, but not for the day-to-day management of the organisation.

There are already indications that some of the KNCB’s member clubs are extremely unhappy about this somewhat mysterious and certainly unexpected termination of Ms. Van Not’s contract. The situation may in some respects resemble that in 2015, when the way in which the then Board appointed a successor to former CEO Richard Cox led to that Board’s defeat by a rival ticket led by Ms. Timmer.

Rod Lyall
Rod Lyall
Retired academic, now a journalist and commentator, mainly covering Dutch international and domestic cricket.

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