Clegg decides to leave BOA

Simon Clegg, who stood down last month as chief executive after 20 years at the British Olympic Association, today announced he was quitting the organisation with immediate effect.

Ahead of this year’s Olympics, the BOA announced that its chairman, Lord Moynihan, wanted to recruit a new chief executive, and that Clegg would stand down after the Games, but be retained on the staff to work as chef de mission in Vancouver in 2010 and London two years later.

However, since the appointments last month of Andy Hunt as CEO and Hugh Chambers as chief commercial officer, Clegg has had a change of mind over his own future.

“I have taken the decision that now is the right time for both myself and the BOA to move on to new challenges and to allow others to build on the success which has been achieved,” Clegg said in the official statement distributed by the BOA.

“It has been a huge privilege to manage our country’s finest athletes in this environment on so many occasions; I hope that in some small way I have helped to contribute to any success they have achieved. This has not been an easy decision but I know that it is the right one.”

Clegg joined the BOA in January 1989 as its assistant general secretary, working closely with Dick Palmer. This followed an army career which included a period as manager of the British biathlon team, but which was not without controversy: Clegg was one of a number of officers who appeared in court on charges related to bullying over an initiation ceremony of a subaltern, though none were found guilty.

During his career at the BOA, Clegg managed British athletes at the last 12 Olympic and Olympic Winter Games, the most recent six as Team GB’s Chef de Mission, culminating in leading Britain’s most successful team for 100 years to Beijing this summer, and which saw the outgoing CEO’s services to British sport recognised by the SJA last month, when Clegg was presented with the JL Manning Award at the SJA’s British Sports Awards.

At the BOA, Clegg was appointed Palmer’s deputy before becoming the organisation’s first chief executive in January 1997, the post he relinquished last month. Working closely with then chairman Sir Craig Reedie, Clegg oversaw much of the groundwork that made London’s successful bid to stage the 2012 Games.

Commenting on Clegg’s decision, Lord Moynihan, the BOA chairman, said: “Simon’s leadership over the last 12 years as our CEO has positioned the BOA as one of the most respected and leading National Olympic committees in the world. His skills and experience particularly in the Olympic environment as Team GB’s Chef de Mission will be greatly missed and everyone in the Olympic movement in the UK wishes him well for the future.”

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