Less than 18 months into the job, and with the London 2012 Olympics approaching rapidly, Adam Parsons, the former Sunday Times and BBC sports correspondent, has quit the British Olympic Association, it was announced this morning.
Parsons, 39, is to become director of communications for Travelodge, the budget-priced motel chain.
In February last year, Parsons was the latest high-level appointment at the BOA under chairman Lord Moynihan, joining as the director of communications and public affairs, and he was soon teamed up with new chief executive Andy Hunt.
Parsons moved from his original role after the Vancouver Winter Olympics with the announcement that an American, Darryl Siebel, the former spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee, was the latest expensive recruit to the BOA’s new headquarters offices in Charlotte Street.
Siebel was made communications director, as Parsons took on the the role of director of sport liaison full-time, which he had been working on since last August.
The communications department inherited by Parsons at the BOA had already been slimmed down, due to economies and cuts in budgets.
In today’s statement announcing the departure, Hunt said: “Adam has played an important role at the BOA, notably in creating stronger ties between our organisation and the athletes and sports we serve. His experience and knowledge in this regard has been invaluable.
“While we are disappointed to see him depart, we fully support his decision to pursue this new professional opportunity and wish him the very best for continued success in his career.”
Parsons had begun his journalism career at the Watford Observer, and from working as a Saturday casual on the sports desk of the Sunday Times was quickly promoted to become motor racing correspondent. He went on to launch the sports section of Sunday Business, from where he joined the BBC in 2001.