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October 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM

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Streeter moving out at USOC; is Microsoft honcho moving in?

Posted by Ron Judd

Stephanie Streeter, the embattled interim CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, won't be a candidate when the USOC launches a new search for a permanent leader.

The announcement, made this morning by the USOC, comes in the wake of public calls for yet another major shakeup at the USOC from Olympic-world luminaries such as NBC's Dick Ebersol. Streeter took over the job in March after the USOC board dumped CEO Jim Scherr.

"I think it's a tiny step in the right direction," Ebersol told the Chicago Tribune this morning. "But that is totally countered by once again their (the USOC's) hiring a search firm that won't have a clue and will find some candidate from a failed American business who has some kind of reputation and trot him or her out."

Frequent turnover among USOC senior staff has been cited as a likely reason for lack of trust between the organization and the International Olympic Committee, which last week issued the American Olympic movement a stunning rebuke by making Chicago the first city eliminated in a voting process to select the 2016 Summer Games host.

Streeter also was one of the USOC execs singled out by IOC members complaining about high salaries at the USOC. She was earning in excess of $500,000, with incentives that could add another $1 million on top of that, the Chicago Tribune has reported. Other top USOC execs continue to earn more than $600,000 at the non-profit corporation.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune's Phil Hersh reports that Robert Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division (think Xbox), is a rumored favorite candidate for the spot Streeter vacated on the USOC's nine-menber board when she took over as CEO.

Expect lots of continued fallout here after the Chicago debacle in Copenhagen last week. Sadly, all this leaves the USOC as basically a headless body heading into the just-around-the-corner Vancouver Games.

Here's the news release from USOC:

United States Olympic Committee Announces Search for
Chief Executive Officer

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - The Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced today that it is forming a search committee and will formally engage a nationally recognized and respected recruiting firm by the end of October 2009 to assist in identifying candidates for the position of Chief Executive Officer. Acting Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Streeter has notified the Board that she will not be a candidate for the position.

"When we asked Stephanie to serve as Acting Chief Executive Officer in March, we did so knowing of her strong management skills and mindful that the USOC was at a critical juncture in many ways - facing the economic crisis, preparing for the Vancouver 2010 Games, and supporting Chicago in its bid to host the 2016 Games," said USOC Chairman Larry Probst. "She graciously agreed to take on the challenge and has been an outstanding chief executive.

"We were disappointed when Stephanie told us she did not want to be considered for the permanent CEO position. She has done an excellent job, and we are all very grateful for her many contributions to the U.S. Olympic Movement. We're very pleased she has agreed to stay on in her current capacity until the search for a permanent CEO is concluded and a candidate is named."

"I've enjoyed my tenure as Acting CEO, and I'm proud of everything my team and I were able to accomplish," Streeter said. "But now is the right time for me to explore new opportunities in the corporate sector where I've spent my entire career. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had and the support I received from the Board, staff and athletes. I firmly believe that together we've put the USOC in a strong financial and operating position for the future.

"With the decision now made regarding the Chicago bid, it is time for the USOC to focus its full effort on our athletes' preparation for Vancouver, and the organization's long-term strategy, as well as shaping the USOC's relationships with its stakeholders and the international community. Knowing that I am focused on returning to the corporate arena, I thought now was the ideal time to let the USOC know of my future plans and allow them to start with a clean slate."

Streeter was asked to take on the Acting CEO role during the worst economy in 50 years. Under her leadership during the past seven months, the USOC exceeded budgeted revenues by 10 percent while reducing expenses by 17 percent. A substantial portion of those savings were repurposed into a 20 percent increase in funding for winter athletes and NGBs. In addition, the USOC was able to renew sponsorships of such important partners as Adecco and Polo Ralph Lauren, while adding Deloitte and Procter & Gamble as new sponsors. The USOC also doubled government funding for Paralympic programs, and created a higher level of accountability and performance within the USOC management team.

The search committee will be chaired by USOC Board member Bob Bowlsby, and will consist of three members from the USOC Board of Directors, four members from USOC member organizations - one representative selected from the National Governing Bodies Council, the Athletes Advisory Council, the Multi Sport Organization Council and the U.S. Olympians Association - and will also include Paralympic representation. The committee will recommend up to three finalists and the USOC Board of Directors will choose the permanent CEO from among those finalists.

Before being named Acting Chief Executive Officer of the USOC, Streeter spent six years at Banta Corporation (NYSE: BN), a $1.6 billion global technology and market leader in printing and supply chain management with 8,000 employees, and 40 manufacturing locations in 10 countries. There, Streeter served as President and Chief Operating Officer (2001-2002), President and Chief Executive Officer (2002-2004), and ultimately Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer (2004-2007). The company was acquired by RR Donnelley in 2007.

Earlier in her career, Streeter spent 15 years in positions of increasing management responsibility for Avery Dennison, a $5 billion global leader in pressure-sensitive technology and office products, with more than 20,000 employees in 49 countries. She also served as Chief Operating Officer for Idealab, LLC, an internet business incubator supporting ground-breaking companies in business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and infrastructure development.

Streeter serves on the board of directors of Goodyear Corporation, Kohl's Corporation, the Green Bay Packers and Catalyst. She received her bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford University, in Stanford, Calif.

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Blog roll and links The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information. Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site. Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription). News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions. Beijing Organizing Committee Web site. Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site. London 2012 Summer Games site. Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site. Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.