Nigel Holl in pole position
THE search for a successor to Niels de Vos as chief executive of UK Athletics has started, with Nigel Holl, the current interim CEO, leading the list of contenders.
As news broke last week of De Vos’s intention to leave the governing body at the end of this month, UKA reacted quickly by issuing a statement and naming Holl as his temporary replacement.
For the past two years Holl has been UKA’s director of strategy and partnerships following a successful sixyear spell as chief executive of Scottish Athletics, where he oversaw a large rise in membership figures.
De Vos leaves UKA to set up his own consultancy business. He first made a name for himself as commercial director at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games before becoming chief executive of rugby club Sale Sharks.
But the former 1:57 800m runner always had a passion for athletics and he joined
UKA in 2007 along with a new chairman, Ed Warner, as the two men effectively replaced outgoing CEO Dave Moorcroft.
Warner left UKA last year and was replaced by Richard Bowker and the new chairman said: “Niels leaves with our enormous thanks and we wish him well for the future.
“UK Athletics will retain his services in a limited capacity in order that a number of important issues where he has led discussions and negotiations are brought to a conclusion.”
One of De Vos’s first jobs at UKA was to oversee a cull of staff – losing about 40 employees from the workforce of 100 or so as the company moved offices into the Alexander Stadium.
With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games imminent, he also oversaw the appointment of Charles van Commenee as head coach in the run-up to the Games.
In addition, he orchestrated the bold move of taking the job of organising British televised events from Fast Track.
This involved staging the Anniversary Games in London and events like the British Championships and Diamond League in Birmingham.
De Vos, Warner and their team also won the right to stage the 2017 IAAF World Championships and World
Para Athletics Championships in London and split their team between Birmingham and London to make sure the events were well organised.
In addition, during De Vos’s period the nation has also held the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham this year and events like the 2008 World Cross Country Championships, while long-term deals with Nike and the BBC were secured.
However, in the last year or so he has come under fire as the sport has struggled to fill stadia for major British events and, after 11 years in the role, he has probably picked a good time to go.
Bowker added: “We look to the future with confidence that UK Athletics as an organisation and the sport of athletics in the UK are both in great shape and will begin the search for a new chief executive shortly.”
Niels de Vos: will depart at the end of this month