POSTED: March 17th 2009

USOC to hunt new Olympics CEO

Stephanie Streeter: variation of title / Image: USOC
Stephanie Streeter: variation of title / Image: USOC

LAURA WALDEN & KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

MIAMI: The USOC will now, after all, headhunt a new CEO following the abrupt resignation of Jim Scherr two weeks ago and the interim handover to board member Stephanie Streeter.

Controversy and concern was sparked by the prospect of Streeter’s conflict of interest. Plainly it was unsatisfactory to say the least to have a senior executive reporting to the board of which she is a member.

This may not have been immediately obvious to Streeter herself or Larry Probst, USOC Chairman. However, the potential damage to the USOC’s reputation and image was instantly apparent to its national governing bodies (NGBs) for US Olympic sports.

A number of the NGBs challenged the manner of the coup which took them completely by surprise. Subsequently two NGB heads – Skip Gilbert of USA Triathlon and Steve Penny of USA Gymnastics flew to San Francisco to confront Larry Probst Monday to have their voices heard. Also board members Bob Bowlsby and Mike Plant joined the meeting.

Following the discussions Gilbert said, "Larry, Bob and Mike were very receptive to everything we brought up. They understood the perceptions that are out there, they understood the dynamics of the NGB constituency group and our impact on the Olympic movement, and we're very encouraged by literally everything we discussed."

This has risen to the point that the issue has been passed to the USOC Ethics Committee to study the conflicts of interest concern with Streeter serving as Acting Chief Executive Officer and whether she should resign the board position.

Almost surreptitiously Streeter’s title has been amended from “interim” to “acting” chief executive which suggests that the appointment of a permanent new ceo is far from imminent and is, indeed, unlikely before the Vancouver Winter Games next February.

The USOC issued the following statement on Probst’s behalf after his meeting with Gilbert, Penny, Bowlsby and Plant:

“The meeting today with leaders from the National Governing Bodies and members of the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors was, in my view, extremely productive.  We had an opportunity to speak candidly with one another and, in so doing, address a number of important questions and concerns.

“Among the items we discussed and reached agreement on are the following:

“In directing the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Stephanie Streeter will carry the title ‘Acting Chief Executive Officer.’  She has the full support of the U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors and the authority to lead the organization.

“As we work through this transition, we are extremely fortunate to have someone with the talent, familiarity and expertise Stephanie Streeter possesses to serve as our Acting Chief Executive Officer.

“The U.S. Olympic Committee will conduct a national search to select the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer, although the timing and process for that search is still to be determined.

“The Ethics Committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee will address and resolve any potential conflicts involving Stephanie Streeter’s appointment as Acting Chief Executive Officer, including her position as a member of the USOC Board of Directors and any other Boards on which she currently serves.

“The U.S. Olympic Committee Board of Directors will seek greater input and involvement from all constituent groups within the U.S. Olympic Family.

“The U.S. Olympic Committee and National Governing Bodies encourage the entire U.S. Olympic Family to continue lending its full support to Chicago 2016 in the bid to bring the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games to our country.

“As a result of our meeting today, we have established a much more productive path on which we will move forward.  Given the magnitude of the challenges and opportunities that are before us, it is essential we begin doing so immediately.

“We all share a common purpose, which is to contribute to the continued growth and development of the U.S. Olympic Movement, to enable America’s athletes to reach their full potential on the fields of play, and to improve the lives of young people through participation in Olympic and Paralympic sport.”

See also:

Keywords · USOC · Stephanie Streeter · Larry Probst · Skip Gilbert · Steve Penny

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

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