October 7 - Bill Sweeney, head of business development at Puma, was today named as the new chief executive of the British Olympic Association (BOA).
He replaces Andy Hunt, who left the BOA in February in the wake of Sebastian Coe's appointment as the new chairman.
The 55-year-old Sweeney has been involved in the sportswear market for more than 25 years, having previously also worked with Adidas, which included the German company's support of Team GB for Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Under Sweeney's leadership, the business unit grew significantly from 2004 to 2010.
He also re-negotiated the agreement that led to Stella McCartney being named creative director for Team GB for London 2012, which resulted in record-breaking sales of Team GB licensed apparel prior to and during the Games.
Sweeney joined Puma in November 2010 and was responsible for designing and directing the company's business strategy for London 2012, including the commercial programmes with Usain Bolt.
He also directed Puma's marketing activities in support of the 34th America's Cup and Oracle Racing Team USA across all global regions.
Sweeney, a Briton, is currently based in the United States but will return to London in the middle of next month to take up his new role.
He will be responsible for directing the day-to-day activities of the BOA, including overseeing preparations for Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016, the inaugural European Games in 2015, and the many other international, multi-sport events in which Team GB will compete.
The appointment of Sweeney, who will lead a staff of 50 professionals, follows a three-month search process led by global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.
"We had a number of outstanding candidates who put themselves forward for our chief executive position," said Coe.
"Bill's business and sport experience, and his impressive record in developing global sports brands, makes him the right choice for this role.
"Bill has worked in the Olympic environment and he understands the needs of athletes who compete at the highest levels of international sport.
"Through his leadership positions at Adidas, he has a clear understanding of Team GB and our values.
"Importantly, Bill knows how to build brands, reach consumers and generate the revenues that are necessary to support our operations.
"We are delighted to welcome Bill to his new role at the British Olympic Association and look forward to the contributions he will make in support of Team GB and the wider British Olympic family."
Sweeney, who played rugby for Aberdeenshire and Roslyn Park, is looking forward to the challenge, he claimed.
"It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the dedicated team at the British Olympic Association in making certain the United Kingdom's finest athletes have the resources and support they need to excel on the international stage," he said.
"With managerial experience across Europe, the US and Asia with some of the sports industry's leading brands, I look forward to working with all our partners and stakeholders to ensure we have the best-prepared, best-supported teams competing at their highest levels in the Summer, Winter, European and Youth Olympic Games.
"Having had experience overseeing programmes to meet the equipment needs of Olympic athletes, and developing business initiatives at both the Beijing and London Olympic Games, I look forward to building on the excitement and momentum created by the outstanding performance of Team GB at London 2012."
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