Bill Beaumont narrowly lost out on the chairmanship of the International Rugby Board - and was then turfed out of the vice-chairman position too.
Incumbent chairman Frenchman Bernard Lapasset was re-elected for another term last night, defeating former England captain Beaumont, 59, by 14 votes to 12 an IRB meeting in Los Angeles.
Beaumont's tenure as vice-chairman was ended by South African candidate Oregan Hoskins.
After two rounds of voting had finished 13-13, the chairman's casting vote went to Hoskins, signalling a double defeat for Beaumont.
Lapasset, who will serve a second term, said: "As vice-chairman, Bill has been at the forefront of driving forward the policies that have successfully delivered the foundations for our sport to flourish over the next decade."
He added: "I am honoured to accept the mandate of the council to serve as chairman of the International Rugby Board for another term.
"Together we must work to ensure that our sport remains strong for all our unions and is able to continue its phenomenal growth around the world.
"I am committed to building on the good progress to date."
Hoskins said: "It is an honour to accept this mandate. I am looking forward to working in partnership with Bernard and my colleagues on council to ensure that rugby is best placed to thrive as a sport at both the elite and community levels."
The pair's terms will begin on January 1.
Beaumont was was elected to the executive committee, along with Lapasset, Hoskins, Peter Boyle of Ireland and five other members.
The outcome should have been decided in Auckland during the World Cup in October, but a vote was taken to delay the election until yesterday.