Monaco, December 4: Former British hurdler Jon Ridgeon was unveiled as the new CEO of track and field's governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The 51-year-old had competed in both the 110 metres hurdles and 400m hurdles between 1984 and 1996, notably winning world silver in the shorter discipline in Rome in 1987 and representing Britain at both the 1988 Seoul and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Since retiring as an athlete, Ridgeon set up and ran successful businesses in sport, and was also one of the architects of the IAAF Diamond League Series.
Ridgeon, who will take up his new role in March 2019, replaces Frenchman Olivier Gers, who stepped down 18 months into the CEO role after citing differing opinions on the IAAF's commercial strategy.
"Having spent my life in sport, this is a dream job for me and I am absolutely thrilled. Athletics is my passion and I have devoted the vast majority of the last 20 years to creating successful commercial partnerships, developing new events that drive participation at both elite and grassroots levels, as well as leading organisations that deliver significant projects across the globe," said Ridgeon.
Commenting on the appointment, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: "I, and a number of the IAAF Council Members, have known Jon for many years and admired his passion, energy and innovation in sport, particularly athletics. His experience in putting together great teams, running large successful companies, delivering top class events and bringing strong commercial partners into sport makes him the right choice for this role."
Meanwhile, the stage is set for the IAAF annual gala, which will be held late on Tuesday (December 4).
A three-way voting process determined the finalists. The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family cast their votes by e-mail, while fans voted online via the IAAF's social media platforms. The IAAF Council's vote counted for 50 per cent of the result, while the IAAF Family's votes and the public votes each counted for 25 per cent of the final result. Voting closed on November 12.
(With inputs from IAAF Media)