The Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) announced on Wednesday the appointment of Manie Booysen as its new chief executive.
"The challenge now is to take this proud and renowned union to a level that will do justice to our heritage, and will leave a legacy of success and accomplishment beyond our lifetime," Booysen said in a statement.
Booysen will have his work cut out after the union experienced a tumultuous year which saw the Lions franchise being relegated from the 2013 Super Rugby competition.
He takes over from Ruben Moggee, who had been acting in the position for the last 14 months.
While the new chief executive faced an uphill battle to return the union to former glory, he was confident that he would meet the challenges.
"It is a challenge that I cannot wait to get stuck into," he said.
"There is a lot of hard work to be done and it will take tremendous personal sacrifice from all involved, and I am 100 percent ready."
GLRU president Kevin de Klerk said the board fully supported Booysen's appointment following a lengthy recruitment process.
The union said it had received many outstanding applications from senior executives for the position.
Booysen had prior experience and success in managing organisations and companies where change and strategic development were essential for future existence and growth, the GLRU said.
His experience ranged from managing listed companies to national and multi-national industry organisations.
Booysen, whose appointment will be effective as of January 2013, holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a National Diploma and various managerial qualifications.
The GLRU said Booysen had been responsible for the successful turnaround of a number of companies and had worked extensively in both local and global markets.
"Solutions to our current challenges lie in creative thinking and not in fixed historical perspectives," De Klerk said.
De Klerk paid thanks to Moggee for the work he had done at the union, saying he had been "a key component in the turnaround of Lions rugby".