Larry Probst has confirmed that he will relinquish his role as chairman of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) at the end of this year having spent a decade leading the organisation.
Susanne Lyons has been chosen to replace the 68-year-old and will begin a four-year term on 1st January 2019.
Probst’s resignation comes shortly after that of chief executive Scott Blackmun back in February. Lyons also took on that role on an interim basis before Sarah Hirshland was announced as Blackmun’s permanent successor in July.
Probst, who will lose his status as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member as a result of his resignation, was first elected as chairman in October 2008 before being re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Like Blackmun before him, though, Probst’s legacy is likely to be marred by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal which has rocked the USOC in recent years.
Probst did, however, play a significant role in the USOC’s successful campaign to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to the US for LA 2028. His tenure also saw a period of financial stability through long-term broadcast and corporate partner deals.
“I became chairman at a difficult time for the USOC and worked diligently with my colleagues here in the US, and around the world, to change the USOC for the better,” said Probst. “It’s now time for a new generation of leaders to confront the challenges facing the organisation and I have the utmost confidence in Susanne’s and Sarah’s ability to do just that.”
Lyons’ appointment means that the USOC’s top two executive positions are now occupied by women. In January this year, she was also selected to chair the governing body’s working group addressing issues of athlete safety in response to the Nassar case.
“I’m honoured that the board has entrusted me with this position, eager to continue to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and ready to do the work necessary to regain the trust of our athlete community; particularly survivors of abuse,” said Lyons. “It’s no secret that the USOC is at critically challenging time in its history and we simply must get it right. I intend to make sure we do.”