* Siegel will take over as CEO on May 1
* Says increasing revenue a major goal
(Adds quotes, details)
By Gene Cherry
April 23 USA Track & Field (USATF) ended a
16-month search to replace its former chief executive by naming
ex-board member Max Siegel, who has extensive marketing ties to
sports and entertainment, to the job on Monday.
Siegel, whose selection comes at a crucial time with the
organization preparing for the London Olympics, did not shy away
from his predecessor's stated goal of 30 athletics medals for
the American team at the July 27-Aug. 12 Games.
"We said 30 medals and we are sticking by the 30 medals,"
Siegel, the founder of Indianapolis-based Max Siegel Inc, said
during a conference call.
"The thing the organization does better than anyone else is
field the number one track team in the world."
Siegel, 47, received a two-year contract with a base salary
of $500,000 as the successor to the embattled Doug Logan, who
was fired in 2010. Chief Operating Officer Mike McNees had been
serving as the interim CEO.
Siegel, a unanimous selection of the board, will take over
on May 1 with a focus on increasing marketing and sponsorships.
But changes need to come in how USATF interacts with its
commercial partners as it tries to diversify its revenue
opportunities, according to Siegel.
USATF's first black CEO, Siegel and his firm have been under
contract to USA Track & Field since October to revamp marketing,
sponsorship and broadcasting. He served on the USATF board from
February 2009 until resigning last September.
The contact will terminate with his employment, Siegel said.
While some in the Olympic community raised concerns about
his hiring being a conflict of interest, USATF and U.S. Olympic
Committee (USOC) officials said Siegel had their full support in
his new role.
"The real issue is that Max was not on the board when he was
selected for this position," USATF president and chair Stephanie
Hightower said in a statement.
"Countless members of the track & field community had
suggested that we consider Max for the position, citing his
success as an executive, his rolodex and his ability to bring
people together to get things done."
USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said the timing of the
selection was important after the long off-and-on search.
"Having a CEO in place will add a measure of stability as we
complete our preparations for London," Blackmun said. "Max will
have our full support and we look forward to working with USATF
as they continue to refine their governance model and find ways
to enhance the effectiveness of the organization."
Siegel's background includes presidency of global operations
for motor racing's Dale Earnhardt Inc - one of NASCAR's leading
franchises - and as a music company executive where he helped
oversee the careers of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and
Hall of Famers Tony Gywnn (baseball) and the late Reggie
White (American football) have been among his sports clients.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo North Carolina; Editing by