Liz Nicholl OBE has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer at UK Sport. She is currently Chief Operating Officer, having joined the organisation in 1999. She replaces John Steele, who left on 30 July to become the new CEO of the Rugby Football Union, and will start her new role with immediate effect.
As CEO, Liz Nicholl will be responsible for leading the organisation as it works to maximise British athlete success at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as seeking to ensure that both the best structure and resources available to high performance sport are in place in the years beyond.
Speaking about the new CEO, Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Chair of UK Sport, said:
“I am absolutely delighted that Liz will be our new CEO. From an outstanding field of nearly 50 candidates, she demonstrated that she had the best mix of skills, experience and knowledge to lead the organisation at this vital time. As well as seeking to ensure that we continue to deliver against our performance and international responsibilities in the build up to London 2012, UK Sport is engaged in significant discussions around resources and the structure of sporting delivery in this country in the future. Having worked with Liz for many years, I am convinced she is the right person to lead these discussions, and will ensure the best result for British sport whilst leading an outstanding high quality team.”
Liz Nicholl added: “I feel very privileged to be selected to take on this role at such a significant and exciting time for British sport. I look forward to building on John’s fantastic work and leading the world class team of people here at UK Sport, who are totally committed to developing a world leading high performance system to support success in 2012 and beyond. We are also working hard to position the UK to secure other great sporting events in future. The current economic climate and proposed structural changes present us all with some challenges but our clear focus will ensure that we remain on track.”
Rod Carr, UK Sport Board Member and a member of the Appointment Panel, said: “We interviewed a number of high quality candidates, but Liz stood out as the right person to lead UK Sport at this critical time. Liz’ experience means she is perfectly placed not only to drive forward UK Sport in the run-up to London 2012, but also help ensure proposed changes to the high performance system in the UK have the needs of our sports and athletes at their heart.”
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport, said: “Liz Nicholl’s appointment will bring experience and continuity to UK Sport at a crucial time in the build-up to London 2012. Her key role is to deliver podium success but she will also have to manage the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review and play a key role in bringing together UK Sport and Sport England post 2012.”