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USOC Names Blackmun CEO
The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) named Scott Blackmun, a prominent sports executive and former USOC leader, as Chief Executive Officer today. Blackmun will be introduced to the USOC staff, National Governing Body (NGB) leaders and media on January 6, 2010, during an announcement in Colorado Springs.
Blackmun returns to the USOC where he previously spent three years, including serving as acting Chief Executive Officer from November 2000 - October 2001. He first joined the USOC in September 1998 as General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs, and in 2000, he moved into the role of Senior Managing Director where he was responsible for sport operations and resource allocation to NGBs and athletes.
“We are pleased to introduce Scott as our new CEO and to welcome him back to the USOC,” USOC Chairman Larry Probst said. “With a deep understanding of the Olympic Movement, established relationships in the Olympic Family and a strong commitment to the community of Colorado Springs, we know he will move seamlessly into the role and be ready to represent the USOC as we head into the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
The hiring of Blackmun, age 52, coincides with the organization moving into its new headquarters in downtown Colorado Springs.
“When we were looking for our new CEO, we wanted to ensure that we selected a new leader who would be part of the USOC for years to come, and in Scott we believe we have found that person,” Probst said. “He has the unanimous support of the USOC Board as well as our independent search committee, and we look forward to Scott leading our organization at an important time of change for the USOC.”
Blackmun, a resident of Colorado Springs, Colo., joins the USOC from the 200-plus lawyer firm of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, where he was a partner and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. From 2002-06, he was Chief Operating Officer of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) in Los Angeles, overseeing operations for the sports and events company.
“I am thrilled to be returning to the USOC and to be a part of an organization and Movement I am so passionate about,” Blackmun said. “This is an exciting time for the USOC, with the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games a few weeks away, and a move to the new headquarters building this spring. I am looking forward to getting to know and work alongside a talented staff. And, I am ready to make a long-term commitment to the success of this organization and America’s athletes, and to supporting the growth of the Olympic Movement worldwide.”
Blackmun currently serves on the following boards: the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs, In the Arena, the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Olympic skier Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime Foundation. He graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1979 with a degree in philosophy, and received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1982. He and his wife, Ann, have three children.
Blackmun will take over as CEO on January 26, 2010, from Acting CEO Stephanie Streeter. Streeter had served in the position since last March, however did not seek to become the permanent CEO of the USOC.
“I would like to personally thank Stephanie for taking on and executing the CEO’s role with a high level of professionalism and performance, in what was admittedly, an incredibly challenging year for the USOC,” said Probst. “Though Stephanie decided in October that she would not seek to become the permanent CEO, she continued to be an active leader for the organization and established a solid foundation for Scott to succeed as he takes over this role.”
The CEO search process began with 140 candidates and was guided by the global executive search firm Spencer Stuart, along with a Search and Screening Committee consisting of nine members of the U.S. Olympic Family. The committee was chaired by USOC Board member Bob Bowlsby, and it included two other members of the USOC Board: Probst and Mike Plant. It also consisted of representatives from five USOC constituent groups: Phil Godfrey (Multi-Sport Organizations), Nina Kemppel and Matt Van Houten (Athletes Advisory Council), Micki King (U.S. Olympians Association), Trygve Myhren (Paralympic Movement), and David Ogrean (National Governing Bodies Council).
“We are in a position of tremendous opportunity for the growth and success of the USOC, and we are pleased to have Scott in place to guide the organization down that path,” Bowlsby said. “I would like to thank the entire Search and Screening Committee and Spencer Stuart for their commitment and efforts in this process to bring forth what we feel is an individual who will be an invaluable leader.”
“I am very optimistic that the selection of Scott, who is well respected by many within the Olympic Movement, will bring a true level of collaboration between the USOC and its core constituents,” said Skip Gilbert, Executive Director of USA Triathlon. “I’m sure I can speak for my NGB colleagues in wishing Scott all the best in his new role and we look forward to working with him.”
“Scott will be a fantastic CEO for the USOC,” said Steve Penny, President of USA Gymnastics. “The broad range of his experience combined with his intimate knowledge of the USOC makes him perfectly suited to meet the challenges that lie ahead. He also brings a sense of passion to serve the Movement and its constituents, which is an important leadership ingredient. Scott is an excellent choice.”
"Scott is a eminently decent and capable individual with the experience and passion for the Olympic movement to lead us successfully for many years to come,” said Dave Ogrean, Executive Director of USA Hockey. I could not be more enthusiastic today about the future of the USOC."
Phil Godfrey, the Multi-Sport Organization representative, had this to add, “I think the entire process was extremely well done and managed, given both the aggressive timeframe as well as the quality of candidates. The Chairman kept us focused while the USOC staff supported the effort very well. The consultants contributed at a very high level and made the aggressive timeline doable. The committee members did their homework, were totally engaged and not afraid to say what was on their mind, while at the same time respecting all views expressed. Everyone was on the same mission of identifying the best possible candidates. I believe we succeeded in that mission.”
Blackmun will be based in Colorado Springs, and he will hold overall accountability, responsibility and authority for the management of the business and affairs of the USOC. He will also serve as the primary spokesperson and representative of the USOC, building productive relationships within the domestic and global Olympic and Paralympic community.