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Swimming Australia announces resignation of CEO Neil

Swimming Australia announces resignation of CEO Neil
November 22, 2012

Swimming Australia (SA) Chief Executive Kevin Neil has resigned following the Australian swimming team's disappointing and controversial performances at the at the London Olympics.

Newly-elected SA President Barclay Nettlefold said Neil's exit was a "mutually agreed departure" but it is understood he was informed on Friday he would be stood down from the role.

Neil's departure comes four days before he was due to front the review into the London Games campaign. However, Neil is still expected to contribute to the review.

Respected SA board member and management consultant Jeremy Turner will serve as interim Chief Executive with appointment of Neil's successor likely to only be undertaken once the review is complete.

In a statement, Nettlefold said Turner is not seeking a full-time appointment, adding "we will now examine what primary areas of expertise the new CEO is required to have to meet the immediate and long-term vision of the sport."

Former Canberra Raiders executive Neil was appointed to SA's board of directors in February 2008 then, later in the year, took over from Glenn Tasker, who resigned after six years in the role.

Looking back on his tenure, Neil said in a statement "I have witnessed great changes and seen how swimming continues to be Australia's premier Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport. I am proud to have played a role in this development and the enhancement of the sport's revenue base.

"Following the below-expected results at the London Olympic Games, swimming is now undertaking various reviews to set the new course for the future and it is therefore appropriate to step aside to allow the sport to progress to its next exciting phase."

Australia's London Games team failed to produce an individual gold medal for the first time since the 1976 Olympics despite high expectation for the likes of world 100 metres freestyle champion James Magnussen.

That disappointment came after Australia won six swimming gold medals in Beijing 2008 and seven in Athens 2004.

While the initial focus was on issues of funding and training, SA called an independent review and the team's attitude was called into question as allegations of bullying and aggressive behaviour were made public.

Tommaso D'Orsogna, a member of the Australian men's 4x100 metres freestyle relay squad, revealed in September he and team-mates had behaved like "schoolboys" in camp before the Games.

D'Orsogna also claimed some squad members were "putting themselves up higher than the rest of the team".

Veteran Leisel Jones, who retired last week, said she had confronted team-mates who were "bullying" a young team-mate at the London Olympics.

Despite the drama engulfing the sport, Nettlefold was full of praise for Neil's impact on SA, his statement concluding "under Kevin's leadership, Swimming Australia increased its revenue by 40% and instigated several new developments.

"Kevin was also instrumental in negotiating a new broadcast deal with Network Ten, the implementation of a range of important initiatives targeted at growing the sport at a community level, and the development of an aquatic facilities strategy."

15th November 2012 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA INITIATES CULTURE REVIEW

21st August 2012 - BOARD DIVERSITY A KEY TO SPORT MANAGEMENT AND FUNDING

15th August 2012 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA’S INCENTIVE MODEL WAS A FAILURE 


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