New Sharks chief executive Barry Russell.

Barry Russell taking over as Sharks' new CEO

Barry Russell, who famously won the 1988 Rothmans Medal during his playing days with the Cronulla Sharks, is set to be announced as the club’s new chief executive later on Thursday.

Russell takes over in the CEO seat from Lyall Gorman, who ended his three years at the helm in November by linking with the Manly Sea Eagles.

"We had many worthy and highly qualified applicants for the position, however Barry's business background, knowledge of the NRL and his commercial expertise, not to mention his enthusiasm and love of the Cronulla club, made him a standout amongst the candidates," Sharks chairman Dino Mezzatesta said.

"We welcome him on board and look forward to him getting started, confident he will make a significant contribution towards the continued success of our club."

Russell was an award-winning halfback who enjoyed seven years at the Sharks (1985-1991), playing 76 first-grade games.

Barry Russell during his playing days for Cronulla Sharks.
Barry Russell during his playing days for Cronulla Sharks. ©NRL Photos

He claimed the Rothmans Medal in 1988 in one of the biggest surprise in the best-and-fairest award's history from his heavily favoured teammate Gavin Miller.

Russell was part of the unheralded Cronulla team which won the minor premiership but were knocked out of the playoffs in the preliminary final by the Balmain Tigers.

The former playmaker has enjoyed a successful career in the corporate world over the past two decades.