USOPC elects Gene Sykes as new chair, plus more

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has announced that Gene Sykes will serve as the next chair of the organization’s board of directors.

Sykes succeeds Susanne Lyons, whose term ends on 31st December 2022. He currently serves as the co-chairman of global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and co-chairman of the global technology, media and telecom group at Goldman Sachs.

Sykes took to leave from the financial giant in 2015 to join the Los Angeles bid committee as chief executive, overseeing the successful bid campaign that ended in 2017 with the city being awarded the 2028 Summer Olympic Games. He stepped down from the role in December 2018.

Lyons was named board chair in January of 2019 after serving as interim USOPC chief executive from March to August 2018, and following her tenure as an independent USOPC board member that started in 2010.

As well as the Los Angeles 2028 Games, other priorities facing Sykes and the USOPC include Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics, potential rule changes pertaining to transgender athletes and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“I offer my congratulations and a warm welcome to Gene on being selected as our next board chair,” said USOPC chief executive Sarah Hirshland.

“This role requires the ability for us to not only work together as partners but to also bring together the viewpoints of our diverse board and sports ecosystem, and to help set a course for the organization to serve against its mission of holistically supporting athletes, and growing participation in, and prominence of, Olympic and Paralympic sport in the United States.”

Sykes added: “I look forward to working with Sarah, the USOPC staff, our great NGB partners and all who support the Olympic and Paralympic movements.

“I am inspired by the opportunity in front of me and am grateful to Susanne for leaving the organization so well positioned to achieve holistic success – on and off the field of play – as Team USA marches toward Paris 2024, Milan-Cortina 2026 and Los Angels 2028.”

Elsewhere, the National Football League’s (NFL) jacksonville jaguars have promoted chad johnson to chief operating officer and Mark Sirota to senior vice president business planning and chief financial officer. The franchise has also hired John Dever as senior vice president and chief communications officer.


Appointments

Earl Cochrane

General Secretary, Canada Soccer

Previously: Acting general secretary, Canada Soccer

Jim Pfeiffer

Chief Marketing Officer, Premier Hockey Federation (PHF)

Previously: Vice president corporate partnerships, Atlanta Dream

Travis Samson

Senior vice president and chief technology officer, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park

Previously: Executive vice president and chief technology officer, BSE Global

Heath Price Khan

Vice president, global partnerships, Legends

Previously: Senior vice president, property sales, Allied Sports

Luke Bould

Chief commercial officer, TEG

Previously: Chief commercial officer and chief marketing officer, Football Australia

Gordon Arthur

Interim chief executive, Cricket Scotland

Previously: Director of marketing and communications, Glasgow 2014

Lindsay Hoyle

President, Rugby Football League (RFL)

Notes: Hoyle, who is the speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Chorley, will succeed broadcaster Claire Balding from 2023. The 65-year-old will be assisted by new vice president Sue Taylor, who is the chair of the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA). Her predecessor, Mike Smith, will take up the post of deputy vice president for six months to incorporate the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC).

Neelke Kok

PR manager, Glory

Previously: PR and communications advisor, Jaarbeurs


departures

Sharon Fuller

Chief content officer, eSkootr Championship (eSC)

Notes: Fuller departs having joined the electric scooter series in August 2021.

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