The appointment of the former Norwich City CEO, which the club has hailed as “exciting and ambitious”, ends a lengthy search for a replacement for Leeann Dempster, who left the Easter Road in December.
But owner Ron Gordon has always maintained that it was more important to make the right decision and in Kensell they have secured a figure who is highly-regarded throughout the game following an innovative spell with the Canaries.
During his spell with the Canaries, he has overseen tremendous success on and off the pitch, with promotion to the Premier League and significant growth in turnover and commercial income.
He has also guided the club through promotion and relegation. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, he aided their return to the English top tier for the coming season before leaving to seek out a fresh challenge.
That will come in Leith as Kensell, who was previously involved in leading commercial teams at Arsenal and Charlton before taking on his role at Norwich, takes over the day to day running of the club from the beginning of August.
Involved in the delivery of several sporting events, including Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and Royal Ascot earlier in his career, he initially joined Norwich as Commercial Director, and completely transformed the club’s commercial activities to record breaking levels. Since 2018, he has overseen club restructuring at Norwich, the creation and implementation of a strategic vision and plan, and has delivered a positive, values-driven club culture, including working with a sporting director within an executive committee.
His reputation for fan engagement will have been another positive when Gordon narrowed down a high-calibre list of candidates.
“Ben brings tremendous expertise in our industry, commercial nous and experience, superb contacts and a tremendous work ethic, with a track record of delivering tangible success across many areas of the club. I very much look forward to supporting Ben as he takes us forward,” said the club owner and executive chairman.”
Kensell, who will spend the next few days meeting staff at Easter Road and at the training centre, is relishing the new challenge.
“I spent seven happy and successful years at Norwich, and it was not an easy decision to leave after securing promotion again and with the club in a stable, settled place post-covid.
“However, I was ready for a new challenge and as soon as I was made aware of the opportunity at Hibernian I knew it was where I wanted to be. To lead this incredible club as CEO, with the phenomenal support and passionate fanbase it has, along with the ambitious plans that Ron shared with me, was exciting from the moment we met.
“Hibernian is an historic club, with real tradition and tremendous potential for even greater success in the future. It’s our job to ensure we take it to that next level. I am incredibly honoured to be given the opportunity and will work relentlessly to ensure we can be the best we can be.
“It’s also important to have a positive, open and collaborative relationship with
the fans.” I can’t wait to hear the famous Sunshine on Leith sung by the supporters once we can get full capacities in attendance”