USA Gymnastics appointed Kerry J. Perry as its new president and chief executive, eight months after a sexual abuse scandal led to the resignation of her predecessor, Steve Penny.
Perry, the former vice president of business development at Learfield Communications, will begin her new role on 1st December and will be based at the USA Gymnastics headquarters in Indianapolis.
She becomes the national governing body's first female chief executive in almost 20 years, and will be responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of all facets of the USA Gymnastics business.
“We are fortunate to have someone as capable and energetic as Kerry step into this leadership role,” said Paul Parilla, the chairman of the USA Gymnastics board of directors. “Her passion for the sport, commitment to athlete safety, and track record of motivating teams to succeed will help guide our vision for the future.”
Perry added: “I am thrilled to join USA Gymnastics and I look forward to creating a culture of empowerment that encourages our athletes, our members, our families and our staff to have a strong voice as we move this incredible organisation to heightened levels of achievement.”
Perry’s appointment concludes an eight-month search for a replacement for Penny, who stepped down in March in the wake of an IndyStar investigation into USA Gymnastics’ handling of sexual abuse allegations against its coaches.
The investigation unearthed a series of failures, including a longstanding policy of not reporting repeated warnings over the conduct of its staff. More than 100 women have made allegations against Dr. Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics doctor who left the body in 2015 and has since pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges.
On announcing Perry’s appointment, USA Gymnastics reiterated its commitment to athlete safety, saying it has ‘taken several steps to increase its ability to protect athletes and create an environment of support for members and their families.’