USATF CEO Sweepstakes: Your Guess is as good as mine, release from Jill Geer/USATF, note by Larry Eder

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USA Track & Field

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On the eve of the 2011 USA Outdoor Champs, the search for a new CEO continues. Without boring you, this process got its start early last fall, when then CEO Doug Logan was released of his duties. A settlement between Mr. Logan and USATF was noted less than one month ago, however, we have no indications of whether Mr. Logan signed and took the money.

About the same time, mid- May, in two separate columns by Phil Hersh and Gene Cherry/Reuters noted a conversation with Steve Miller noting several options for USATF : a) keep Mr. McNees as acting CEO until London 2012, with support of several board members, b) name a board member CEO, if one of final ten interviewed candidates does not fit the bill, c) to hold off the CEO announcement and run USATF through the board.

Mr. Miller is one one prone to hyperbola. It did seem, to this reader, that Mr. Miller was, shall we say, offering some solutions to an issue that become more and more problematic.

As one footwear executive noted, " why do they need to name a CEO?, things seem to be working fine."

In the current note from Jill Geer, it notes that no board member was, is or has been been a candidate. I will take Ms. Geer at her word, although I find that hardly a realistic scenario.

Now, I am confused even more. Perhaps we should just put some names in a hat, pick one out and name them CEO? The process done in 2008 and the process now seem much less satisfying.

I am taken to the character of Phaedrus from Zen & the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. The classic part of my brain wants transparency, however the stoic part mocks transparency-how can you pick the best candidate without giving them absolute anonymity? Perhaps as Phaedrus hinted, there is no answer that will satisfy all.  

I am okay with , as long as we get a CEO who a) knows the sport, b) can deal with the board, which is now the 800 lb gorilla, and c) can sell the heck out of the sport. 

This is getting a bit frustrating. Heck, Popes have been named in a shorter time.  If I have any suggestions to the board, it might include a way to expedite what has become for many observers,  to be an exercise in frustration.

During the scheduled board meetings on June 25 & 26, if the dear Board could, perhaps send out a whiff of white smoke (part of process used in named Pope in Roman Rite) if the vote is indecisive, and a plume of black smoke, as the votes are burnt to a crisp, and we have a new CEO. Eugene will not be Vatican city, but, the intrigue is sure building up like an episode of my new favorite showtime saga, The Borgias (about Lawrence Sixtus (Roderiga Borgia and his exemplar family). 

Perhaps, just perhaps, I will try a different tactic this time around. Perhaps, I will stand outside the board meeting place, adorned in sack cloth (old potato bags for the masses),  and ashes, hoping for a new CEO.

(Well, in between the javelin, hammer and 10,000 meters). I have not given up hope. 


USATF Board pursues resolution to CEO search

INDIANAPOLIS - The USA Track & Field Board of Directors, at its scheduled meeting June 25-26 in Eugene, Ore., will continue to work toward a resolution to its CEO search.

The search for a new CEO began in late 2010 and has been led by the USATF CEO Search Committee and an external, executive search firm. More than 100 candidates were initially identified and screened, with more than 25 being preliminarily interviewed. The search committee in January conducted face-to-face interviews with more than 10 of the top candidates, and three finalists had interviews before the full board earlier this year.

"We have yet to find situation where all the pieces fit for both the candidate and USATF," said Search Committee Chair Steve Miller. "In Eugene our hope is to determine how we will move forward from a leadership perspective through the London 2012 Olympics."

The Board in December issued a job description and profile of the ideal candidate.

At the outset of the process, the board announced that no board members were candidates for the position. That remains the case as the process enters its final stages.

Since the departure of previous CEO Doug Logan in September, USATF Chief Operating Officer Mike McNees has served as Interim CEO.
About USA Track & Field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the World's #1 Track & Field Team, the most-watched events at the Olympics, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport, and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States:
www.usatf.org.

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