Joanna Adams has been appointed chief executive of UK Athletics ©Getty Images

UK Athletics has been forced into another reshuffle of its leadership after Chris Clark resigned as chairman of the embattled body on the same day Joanna Adams was appointed chief executive.

Clark stepped down after just seven months in the position and has been replaced by Nic Coward, who only became interim chief executive in January.

The former head of global marketing for banking and financial services company HSBC has become an advisor to the UK Athletics Board after his resignation as chairman.

His decision to quit the post sent UK Athletics into fresh turmoil and came days after UK Sport commissioned an independent review into the troubled organisation because of "major concerns".

Adams, the first chief commercial officer at the London Legacy Development Corporation and the former chief executive at England Netball, has not yet been given a start date.

She will be UK Athletics' first full-time chief executive since Niels de Vos left in 2018 and takes over an organisation which has lost several key officials in the past 17 months.

Two chairmen, two chief executives and performance director Neil Black have departed UK Athletics since late 2018.

Joanna Adams oversaw an unprecedented period of success for English netball during her time as chief executive ©Getty Images
Joanna Adams oversaw an unprecedented period of success for English netball during her time as chief executive ©Getty Images

Adams steps into a position vacated by Zara Hyde Peters, who lost her job as chief executive days before she was due to take up the role.

It followed a newspaper story alleging that husband Mike Peters was allowed to continue coaching in athletics, despite having been permanently barred from teaching in October 2012 over an "inappropriate relationship" with a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Former Premier League general secretary Coward was appointed to replace Hyde Peters on an interim basis last month.

Adams - who oversaw an unprecedented period of success for England Netball during her time at the national governing body, which included the country winning its first Commonwealth Games gold medal - will be tasked with repairing the reputation of UK Athletics and leading it out of its crisis.

"The role of Chair for UKA [UK Athletics] clearly now requires a huge time commitment during this crucial period," Clark said.

"My other commitments to regulated businesses and public sector organisations have significantly increased since commencing the role and I have to concede that I cannot give it the time commitment it deserves right now.

"However I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue working with UK Athletics on the commercial strategy and with Joanna’s appointment and her track record of success in not only sports governance but also commercial, marketing and competition structures, means we have excellent leadership to take the sport on in a positive future direction."