Wynnum Manly Seagulls have today announced that long-serving CEO Hanan Laban will step down in August to take up a senior leadership role with the Dolphins NRL side.
Laban’s tenure with the Seagulls spans over 12 years as a player, coach and then CEO, where he has been at the helm for the past seven seasons.
Laban leaves with the full support and blessing of the club, which has grown significantly under his direction, achieving great success both on and off the field.
“Hanan has proven to be a very loyal and capable CEO and while we will be sad to see him go, we are also delighted that his talents have been recognised with progression into a senior role at a NRL franchise,” Seagulls chair Tom Solah said.
“We are proudly a pathways club, and it is great to see our people, both players and off-field staff being given opportunities to forge careers in the elite level of the game.
“Hanan’s passion for the Seagulls is unquestioned. His efforts to help guide the club through the challenges of COVID were immense and he will leave behind a robust commercial and football program. We wish him all the best at the Dolphins.”
In addition to his role with the Seagulls, Laban was also a key figure with the Queensland Rugby League, where he was the Statewide Competition Clubs’ Chairman from 2019-2021.
During this time, Laban led negotiations on behalf of clubs with stakeholders and governing bodies as the game navigated the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outgoing CEO Laban said he had great memories from his time at the Seagulls and was grateful for all the support that he had received along the way.
“It has been a privilege to be associated with this great club for such a long time and I am very thankful for all of the opportunities that I have received," Laban said.
“I first came to the club as a 23-year-old player, and never expected the journey which would come over the next 12 years.
“There are so many highlights and fond memories which I will hold forever. However, the thing that stands out the most has been the good fortune to work with so many great people, who care about this club and community, and work incredibly hard to make Wynnum Manly the club that it is.
“I am appreciative for all the support I have received from the Board, staff, players, volunteers, sponsors, members and fans over the years. I have learned and grown a lot during my time, which has allowed me to be in this position to take up an exciting opportunity with the Dolphins.
“Whilst Wynnum Manly is about to undergo a period of change, with movement in senior positions, I have no doubt that the club will find the right leaders who can advance the Gulls into the future.”
Laban’s departure will not hold up the appointment of the new head coach, with the outgoing CEO to continue overseeing the current recruitment process.
After Laban departs, chair Tom Solah has agreed to step in as Interim CEO whilst the club undergoes a full search for its next CEO.