August 22 - Philip Beard, who played a leading role in London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, has been appointed as the new chief executive of Premier League club Queens Park Rangers, it was announced today.

Beard was the marketing and sponsorship director during London's bid, when they unexpectedly beat Paris to be awarded the Games.

He quit London 2012 shortly after they were awarded the Olympics and Paralympics to become the chief executive at The O2, formerly the Millennium Dome, and was instrumental in helping turn the arena into the world's most successful concert and music venue.

Latterly, Beard was hairman of AEG Sport and Sponsorship where he was charged with developing the company's sporting interests across Europe.

His appointment at QPR follows the takeover of the West London club last week by Malaysian Tony Fernandes, the owner of AirAsia and the principal of Formula One's Team Lotus, as its new majority shareholder and Chairman.

QPR were promoted to the Premier League at the end of last season after 15 years out of England's top division and last Saturday (August 20) recorded their first victory, winning 1-0 at Everton.

"Philip brings a long history of success in the sports industry with him to QPR," said Fernandes.

"His track record in leading teams and achieving commercial success is exemplary and I am delighted to have him on board."

Beard, who also worked with London 2012 deputy chairman Sir Keith Mills at the Air Miles loyalty programme, will be expected to work closely with QPR manager Neil Warnock to identify new signings to try to keep the club in the Premier League.

"I am utterly thrilled to be joining QPR in this hugely exciting chapter in the club's history." said Beard.

"I will be focusing on helping it become the very best Club it can be, both on and off the pitch.

"I want to ensure the best possible experience for the people who support us day in and day out – our loyal supporters."

Last November Charlie Wijeratna, who worked closely with Beard during London's bid, joined QPR's Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur as Executive Director with commercial responsibilities.


By Duncan Mackay