Carlton secure Cook as CEO in AFL boost

Carlton have recruited Brian Cook as the AFL club's new chief executive in a much-needed boost.
Carlton have recruited Brian Cook as the AFL club's new chief executive in a much-needed boost.

Carlton tumultuous off-season has received a timely boost, with highly-respected AFL administrator Brian Cook confirmed as their new chief executive.

New Blues president Luke Sayers hailed Cook as the perfect person to take the club forward.

It comes a week after Cain Liddle left the role, while last month Carlton sacked coach David Teague.

"This is a significant pillar of the club's 'reset' strategy, whereby our football club is striving to bring in the best available people with strong leadership, who thrive on building and driving a high-performing culture," Sayers said in a club statement.

"That is exactly what Carlton needs to take our next, significant step, and nobody fits that criteria better than Brian Cook.

"To attract arguably Australia's most highly regarded sports administrator to the position of CEO at our club is significant and from this point on our plan cannot be clearer and more resolute to achieve the sustained success we are striving for."

While it had been known for months that Cook was leaving his role as Geelong's CEO after 23 years, until Friday night it was unclear what he would do next.

Cook, 65, is one of the league's best-credentialled club chief executives.

Along with president Frank Costa, he was crucial in turning around the Cats' financial crisis 20 years ago and then oversaw their three premierships in 2007, '09, and '11.

Before joining Geelong, he was CEO at West Coast when the Eagles won the '92 and '94 flags.

"Brian is the longest serving CEO in the history of the game, and he loves a challenge," Cats president Craig Drummond said in a statement.

"He is excited about taking the reigns at Carlton and we wish him well in that role.

"The club is vastly different to the one he walked into all those years ago, and we can never properly thank him for all he has done during his tenure."

Liddle's exit from Carlton after four years as chief executive came three weeks after the Blues sacked Teague.

While four-time Hawthorn premiership coach Alastair Clarkson has ruled himself out of going to a new club, Cook's move to Carlton will reignite that speculation.

Clarkson has said he will take next year off after leaving the Hawks.

AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking, also a former Geelong player and official, has been confirmed as the new Cats chief executive.

He is due to start in the next few weeks.

Australian Associated Press