By David Owen

Andy Hunt in front of Team GB signFebruary 13 - Andy Hunt is to step down as chief executive of the British Olympic Association (BOA), as the body continues the process of adjusting to life after London 2012.

Hunt, whose departure at the end of the month was announced today, will be the third big name to exit the BOA since the end of the Games, after Lord Moynihan, the former chairman, and Sir Clive Woodward, former director of sport.

A period of downsizing is inevitable for any National Olympic Committee (NOC) in the wake of the extraordinary demands and challenges posed by hosting the Games, and this is what the BOA now faces under new chairman, Sebastian Coe, the face of London 2012.

It was announced that no interim chief executive would be appointed.

Instead, the BOA management team is to work directly with Coe as it seeks to grapple with the tight finances that have been the organisation's lot in recent years.

Hunt, a former managing director of Reliance Security Services who joined the BOA in November 2008, will always be remembered for his energetic direction of the organisation's expansion in the build-up to the first London Olympics for 64 years.

He will also go down in Olympic history as Chef de Mission of the most successful British Olympic team in more than a century.

Andy Hunt was Chef de Mission of the most successful British Olympic team in more than a centuryAndy Hunt was Chef de Mission of the most successful British Olympic team in more than a century

But it is safe to say that he was sometimes frustrated at how little room for manoeuvre he was left with in his business dealings on the BOA's behalf.

He once expressed these frustrations particularly vividly in an interview with insidethegames, when discussing the Joint Marketing Programme Agreement (JMPA) under which commercial sponsorship rights for the period up to and including the Games had been sold to London 2012.

"I am horribly constrained," Hunt told me.

"I describe it as my hands are handcuffed behind my back.

"They are then tied with baling twine over the top of my head.

"And then I'm bound in a straight jacket, put in a metal cage, and it's called the Joint Marketing Programme Agreement with LOCOG."

Hunt, who informed the BOA board of directors of his decision to step down at a meeting today, described his time with the organisation as "an amazing four years".

He said he would "always be proud to have led Team GB at a home Games, and of the fantastic performance of the team this summer and the way in which the BOA supported the athletes.

"Now that the Games are over, and the organisation's strategy for the next four years is taking shape, the BOA's responsibilities and the job of the chief executive are different, and I feel it is the right time for me to move on to another leadership role with breadth and profile similar to the responsibilities I've fulfilled since 2008."

Andy Hunt described his time with the organisation as an amazing four yearsAndy Hunt described his time with the organisation as an "amazing four years"

Coe said that the British team had "the very best facilities, care and preparation at the London 2012 Games thanks to the tireless efforts and passion of Andy Hunt and his team over the last four years.

"I know I speak on behalf of all Team GB athletes and the BOA board when I say thank you to Andy for the work he has done, and I wish him all the best in his next endeavour"

Hugh Robertson, Britain's Sports Minister, said that the BOA, under Hunt's direction, had "undergone a significant transformation and reinforced its reputation as one of the leading National Olympic Committees in the world".

While he would be missed at the BOA, Hunt had "put in place an operating structure and leadership team that will ensure the organisation continues to move from strength to strength".

A further feature of Hunt's tenure was the relocation of the BOA's headquarters from mazy premises in Wandsworth to its present location in a zone noted for its creative industries in central London.

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