By Duncan Mackay at the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne

Stefan Vlad MarinescuJuly 1 - SportAccord general director Vincent Gaillard has been replaced by Stefan Vlad Marinescu, it was announced here today.

The appointment of Marinescu was agreed unanimously by the SportAccord Council during a meeting held here. 

It is the first significant change agreed since Marius Vizer was elected to replace Hein Verbruggen as President of SportAccord in St Petersburg in May. 

In another major development, Vizer and Arkady Rotenberg, President of the International Judo Fund and one of Russia's most influential businessmen who is close to the country's President Vladimir Putin, have been nominated to take over as heads of the SportAccord International Convention, the biggest annual gathering of sports leaders in the world.

The decision, which still has to be rubber-stamped by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and the Association of International Olympic Winter Federations (AIOWF), partners of the Convention, would see Vizer and Rotenberg replace Verbruggen and Ron Froehlich, head of the International World Games Association.

Marinescu, 28, had been in charge of Vizer's Presidential Office at the International Judo Federation (IJF) in Budapest but will relocate to Switzerland next week to take up his new role.

Marius Vizer in front of SportAccord signNew SportAccord President Marius Vizer is confident Stefan Vlad Marinescu will make a success of his new role as general director

"It's a huge honour for me that the President of the Council has approved this appointment," Marinescu, a seven-time American karate champion, told insidethegames.

The Californian, a graduate of Oxford Brookes University and the Army And Navy Academy, will oversee the international umbrella organisation for international sports federations both Olympic and non-Olympic and for sport-related international associations. 

Gaillard had joined SportAccord in March 2011 from the Coca-Cola Company where he was involved with the strategic planning and operational delivery of Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup sponsorships since 1998.

"I know I have the experience and I am looking forward to working with our members at SportAccord," said Marinescu, who speaks five lanuages.

Vizer is confident that the new appointment will prove a success.

"Mr Marinescu will bring new energy to SportAccord and with his help our organisation can achieve its goals, will be better managed and can serve our federations better," he said.

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May 2013:
 Vizer elected new SportAccord President
March 2011: Gaillard named as new SportAccord chief