SBD/June 22, 2011/Olympics

USATF Continues Search For New CEO, Stresses No BOD Member Will Be Selected

USA Track & Field's BOD announced yesterday it plans to continue its search for a CEO and reiterated that the new CEO will not come from the board member ranks. The organization has been searching for a new CEO since its previous CEO, Doug Logan, was fired last fall. It narrowed a list of more than 100 candidates to 25 and interviewed more than 10 of them earlier this year. The list was trimmed to three finalists several months ago, and CEO Search Committee Chair Steve Miller said the organization hoped to name a new exec by the end of May. But that deadline passed without any announcement being made. Miller said in a statement, "We have yet to find a situation where all the pieces fit for both the candidate and USATF." He added that at the organization's board meeting this weekend in Eugene, Ore., the board will discuss how it plans to move forward in finding a new leader. USATF COO Mike McNees currently is serving as interim CEO (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). In Chicago, Philip Hersh wrote the search for a new CEO “allows a few likely conclusions to be drawn.” The first is that USATF BOD President & Chair Stephanie Hightower “will not become CEO as long as she remains the top official on the USATF's volunteer board -- which means until her current term as president ends in December, 2012, unless she resigns.” That “brings USATF back to the position it maintained” earlier in the search that “no board members are candidates to be CEO.” Two “temporary solutions” are to keep McNees as interim CEO and “to have a board committee act as CEO.” Sources said that “some potential CEO candidates have been discomfited by the idea of having Hightower looking over their shoulder.” One candidate was Univ. of Oregon track coach Vin Lananna, who “turned down the job” (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 6/21).
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