London 2017 announce co-chair and non-executive board members

The new appointments will have a strategic oversight of London’s delivery of the World Athletics Championships. 30 Apr 2016
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By London 2017

“We saw in London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 how the public embrace athletics championships and this will be a phenomenal event in a superb venue.”

The Board of London 2017 have announced the appointment of a new co-Chair and four new non-executive Directors who will have strategic oversight of London’s delivery of the World Athletics Championships.

Sir Robin Young KCB, who headed the Department for Media, Culture and Sport as Permanent Secretary between 1998 and 2001 and the Department for Trade and Industry from 2001 to 2005, has been appointed co-Chair alongside Ed Warner.

Sir Robin left the public sector in 2005 and has since held a wide variety of non-executive positions. He currently chairs the Circle Housing Group, is Chair-Elect of Circle;affinity housing group and he is on the boards of Film London and Cambridge Cleantech.

He said: “I am excited to be joining the board of London 2017 to support the Championship preparations. Great sporting events have a huge impact on the national psyche and this will be the case again next year when London hosts two back-to-back Athletics World Championships.

“We saw in London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 how the public embrace athletics championships and this will be a phenomenal event in a superb venue. I am looking forward to working with Ed Warner and the rest of the 2017 board to ensure we stage a successful summer of World Athletics.

“The partners have come together to recruit the highest possible calibre Board who are united behind agreed governance structures, budgets and operating plans.”

London 2017 Co-Chair Ed Warner said: “I welcome Robin and our new non-Executive Directors to the board of London 2017.

“I am delighted that we have attracted such excellent Non-Executive Directors. This is a Board that can take strategic decisions in an atmosphere of collaboration behind the clear common goal of staging the best ever World Championships.”

Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service at the Greater London Authority and London 2017 Ltd board member, said: “Sir Robin Young is hugely experienced and I have no doubt he will be a fantastic asset to the London 2017 board. I welcome all of the new appointments who share our philosophy of independence and accountability in delivering a truly memorable IAAF and IPC World Championships.”

The newly appointed Non-Executive Directors are:

David Armstrong (Audit Committee Chair) – Group CEO for Wasps where he led the successful acquisition of the Ricoh Arena and the relocation of the club to Coventry in 2014. Other previous positions include Group Financial Director of Lonrho Plc and positions with Diageo, Pepsi, Compass and McArthurGlen.

He said: “‘I am excited to be joining the Board at a time when the sports world will again have its eyes on London. This is another opportunity for the public to proudly get behind a great sporting spectacle and I look forward to supporting the team in making it a reality.”

Simon Bazalgette (Senior Independent Director) – Group CEO of The Jockey Club, which runs several of the UK’s biggest sports events including the Grand National, The Derby and The Cheltenham Festival. He is also Chairman of The Grubb Institute and a non-executive director of Racecourse Media Group, British Champions Series and the Racecourse Association.

He said: “The 2017 World Championships can give us those all-too-rare moments of shared national celebration and create new sporting icons. It’s a really exciting period for sports fans and I’m sure the British public will get right behind the event.”

Liz McMahon – the Managing Director of Madison Muir Group London, whose previous positions include Head of Marketing for Treasury and Investor Services at JP Morgan, Director of Marketing Services at the IOC and the Head of International Marketing on the winning bid for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Her current board roles include the Sport and Recreation Alliance as well as Chairing the England board of the Sport Safeguarding Partnership.

She said: “After having been involved with the Olympic Games throughout much of my career, I know the challenges involved in delivering a successful event. I am delighted to take on this role, and it's a privilege to be a part of the team.”

Vinai Venkatesham – Chief Commercial Officer for Arsenal FC, and formerly part of the commercial team at LOCOG where he worked across the Games’ successful three-tier sponsorship structure and wider commercial programme.

"London 2017 will be one of the biggest sporting events to take place in the UK since 2012, and promises to deliver an unforgettable summer of world class athletics. I am delighted to be joining the board, and look forward to the opportunity to input into the strategic direction of the event as we enter an important period of preparations."

Simon Morton, Chief Operating Officer at UK Sport, said: “The calibre of people appointed to these crucial roles demonstrates the appeal and importance of this prestigious event.

“They bring a wealth of commercial and sporting experience to the team, and will ensure we can move forward fully focused on delivering a World Athletics Championships that makes the nation proud.”