Nigel Holl in pole po­si­tion

Athletics Weekly - - News -

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

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