AP sources: USOC to tab Blackmun as new CEO

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The U.S. Olympic Committee has turned to Scott Blackmun, a former interim leader for the organization, to become its third chief executive officer in the past 10 months, The Associated Press has learned.

Two people familiar with the search said Tuesday that Blackmun would be announced as the new CEO on Wednesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been made public.

Blackmun will replace Stephanie Streeter, who took over when Jim Scherr was ousted in March.

An attorney in Colorado Springs, Blackmun will be trying to improve the reputation of a federation that has been consumed by problems, including Chicago’s embarrassing last-place finish in the bidding to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Blackmun was chosen from a list of six finalists for the spot that was more recently pared down to two — him and Chuck Wielgus, the CEO of USA Swimming.

The Chicago Tribune first reported Blackmun’s hiring.

In an internal memo to staff at USA Swimming, obtained by The Associated Press, Wielgus said he sent a congratulatory letter to Blackmun.

“This is a great hire by the USOC Board of Directors and Scott is going to do a wonderful job,” Wielgus wrote.

Both candidates have been well received from some of the biggest critics of the USOC’s policies.

“The high caliber of the finalists for the CEO position speaks well for their efforts,” NBC Universal Sports chairman Dick Ebersol said. “As their long-term television partners, we at NBC wish good and great things for the USOC and for their new CEO Scott Blackmun.”

Blackmun worked at the USOC from 1999 through 2002 and served as interim CEO in 2000. He was chief operating officer at AEG Worldwide, which owns several teams and puts on sports and entertainment events across the globe.

“He’s the right person for right now,” said Steve Penny, CEO of USA Gymnastics. “He brings a great combination of Olympic experience and expertise in other type of sport and entertainment issues.”

Counting his own interim stint, Blackmun will be the seventh leader of the USOC since 2000. The federation underwent major restructuring in 2003, and Blackmun will be on board in March when the board of directors is supposed to receive a report from an advisory committee chaired by Paul Tagliabue that will recommend other possible changes.