Former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell has been announced as the new chief executive officer of Racing Australia.

Barry O’Farrell.

O’Farrell replaces incumbent CEO Peter McGauran who announced he was resigning from the role in August. O’Farrell will commence his new role in January with McGauran heading to Tabcorp.

” Mr O’Farrell has a strong background in public administration and financial management,” A Racing Australia press release said.

“He served with distinction in the NSW Parliament for 20 years including as NSW Premier between 2011 and 2014. Over that time Mr O’Farrell managed complex policy, legal and financial issues with a diverse range of stakeholders.”

O’Farrell quit state politics in 2015 after resigning as premier in April the previous year owing to a self-confessed ” massive memory fail” when giving evidence to an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry.

The incident related to a $3000 bottle of Grange Hermitage wine he was gifted.

When giving evidence to the ICAC hearing O’Farrell denied receipt of the gift, but within 24 hours he resigned as the premier after becoming aware that a thank you note with his name on it was to be presented to ICAC.

Post politics, O’Farrell was appointed deputy chairman by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to the Australia-India council.

He has also lead a Federal Government review into offshore gambling websites and in February this year he was appointed to the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust.