COC’s Overholt announces departure, sports executive Brudner named interim CEO and Secretary General
TORONTO (September 5, 2018) – The Canadian Olympic Committee announced Wednesday that Chris Overholt is stepping down from his post as Chief Executive Officer, and Robin Brudner has been appointed Interim CEO and Secretary General. Overholt, who has served as CEO since August 2011 after joining the COC in 2010 as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, has accepted a leadership role with another organization. That organization is expected to make its own announcement shortly.
“Whether it’s supporting our sports federations and athletes to achieve even greater success, increasing revenue generation, engaging our organization in issues that impact the lives of all Canadians, or advancing our shared Olympic values, Chris Overholt’s leadership has seen the COC’s impact and reach flourish,” said Tricia Smith, President of the Board of Directors and IOC Member. “By any measure, Chris has done outstanding work in service to the COC, and we are grateful for the legacy of success he leaves us. We are happy and proud for Chris, not only of his Olympic achievements of the last eight years, but for the new challenges that await him.”
Overholt, who will remain with the COC for several more weeks, has led the organization for Canada’s best-ever Summer and Winter Games. He oversaw a number of athlete-focused initiatives, including Game Plan and the partnership with the Smith School of Business, both offering support for athletes in envisioning and achieving their dreams post competition. He elevated the financial support and profile of the Olympic brand in Canada to record levels, led the COC in its work in promoting diversity and inclusivity, and supported Canada’s leadership role in international discussions aimed at putting an end to doping and corruption in sport.
“It has been an honour to serve with all the talented, hard-working, and distinguished people at the COC. I am also happy to have had the chance to collaborate with our dedicated partners and sport federations that give our athletes the support to succeed at the highest level of international competition,” said Overholt. “I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity to do such important and impactful work, and I will continue to be inspired by our athletes, by the COC, and by the spirit of the Olympic Movement no matter what I do in the future, or wherever life takes me.”
Brudner was retained by the COC in April 2016 as Senior Advisor and Corporate Secretary to oversee a governance review and the implementation of significant governance enhancements and new conduct policies. She has served as a business and strategic advisor on numerous matters to management and the board of directors.
“As part of good governance, we went through a succession planning discipline several months ago, and in that process, Robin Brudner was identified as the most qualified and capable person to assume the CEO position should it become vacant,” Smith said. “Our board reaffirmed that decision by voting unanimously to name her Interim CEO and Secretary General while we conduct a thorough search to permanently fill the position. Robin will be considered for the permanent position should she so wish. This has evolved quickly, and she should have the time to consider her choices.”
Brudner’s leadership experience in sports and entertainment includes 17 years with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., where she served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
“I have had the great pleasure of knowing Robin Brudner for more than 20 years, working alongside her both at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and with the Canadian Olympic Committee,” said Overholt. “She has been one of the most highly-respected and trusted executives in the Canadian sports industry for many years, playing key roles typically behind the scenes on virtually every matter that a sports organization can encounter. She has the unique perspective of knowing the inner workings of the office of the CEO, and of our board of directors, and that knowledge will serve her well.”
“I thank the board for its decision to appoint me to serve as Interim CEO and Secretary General,” said Brudner. “I have had the opportunity to work closely with Tricia Smith, Chris Overholt, and the board of directors on many critical issues; something that has enabled me to understand our organization’s many strengths. I thank Tricia and Chris for their leadership, innovation, and collaboration to date. I now look forward to working with Tricia, the Board, the COC staff, the sport community and our partners to continue to build upon the foundation that has been so successfully created.”
Photi Sotiropoulos, Director, Communications and Media Relations
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Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations