Ben Kensell: Who is the former Norwich City chief set to succeed Leeann Dempster at Hibs?

Hibs are set to announce the appointment of Ben Kensell as their new chief executive, bringing to an end an eight-month search for Leeann Dempster’s successor.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 4:50 pm
Updated Monday, 26th July 2021, 5:12 pm
Ben Kensell is set to be unveiled as Leeann Dempster's successor at Easter Road

The current Queen’s Park CEO left Easter Road after six years in post last November.

Kensell could be confirmed by Hibs later this week.

Who is Ben Kensell?

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Ben Kensell was most recently the Chief Operating Officer at Norwich City.

Where else has he worked?

Shortly after graduating from Leicester’s De Montfort University, Kensell took up a role as Events Officer at the institution, before a similar role at Ambro Events. He joined Arsenal in August 2006, spending six and a half years with the Gunners as Commercial Operations Controller.

He moved to Charlton Athletic in February 2013 to take up a role as Chief Commercial Officer before joining Norwich City as Commercial Director in November 2014.

After nearly four years in that role he was named the club’s new Chief Operating Officer following the departure of Managing Director Steve Stone in the autumn of 2018.

What are his strengths?

Kensell helped guide the Canaries through a spell in which they won two English Championship titles and dealt with the pandemic. He is viewed as a shrewd operator with impressive commercial knowledge, and a strong track record in engaging with fans.

He also played a key role in offering Carrow Road as a concert venue, and in growing income through boosting revenue streams rather than cost-cutting.

Kensell’s experience in the EFL as well as the Premier League will be an obvious boon to Hibs, with Ron Gordon looking for someone who can run the club when he is at home in America.

Any issues?

Kensell’s main difficulties during his Norwich tenure were a revamped membership scheme that caused friction with some sections of the support but ultimately ended up boosting the club’s coffers to the tune of £1 million, and the BK8 sponsorship fiasco.

The announcement of his departure suggested a direct link with the short-lived arrangement but Kensell had already decided to leave before the BK8 incident.

Anything else?

Kensell played a crucial role during a particularly turbulent time for all football clubs but also helped Norwich boost revenue streams.

An experienced, hard-worker who will look to connect with the fans sounds like the ideal figure to succeed Dempster.

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