Women's Sport: Joanna Adams announced as new UK Athletics chief executive

Joanna Adams has been announced as UK Athletics’ new chief executive following a turbulent few months for the organisation.

The news of her appointment comes hot on the heels of Chris Clark’s resignation as chair just seven months into the role. Nick Coward, who had been acting as interim CEO since Zara Hyde-Peters was forced to step away from the role in November, will be chair of the organisation for an interim period.

The governing body of the sport which has seen a tumultuous time in the last 17 months has seen two chairs, two chief executives and Neil Black, its performance director, leave.

Incoming CEO Joanna Adams, who will be stepping away from her current position as chief commercial officer at the London Legacy Development Corporation, has an impressive record in sports leadership roles, having led England Netball to Commonwealth Gold and hosting the World Cup in Liverpool last summer. During her 10 year tenure, she is credited with professionalising the game and growing grassroots participation across generations.

However, she enters her new role as UK Sport launches their review of UKA which could mean an incoming cut to UKA’s funding and job losses across the organisation.

In what could prove another hurdle for the governing body, the results of a separate independent review over UK Athletics’ relationship with Alberto Salazar is due for release in the coming weeks.

Following the announcement of Adams’ appointment Chris Clark, who will now become an advisor on the board of UK Athletics, said: “Joanna’s appointment and her track record of success in not only sports governance but also commercial, marketing and competition structures, means we have excellent leadership to take the sport on in a positive future direction.”

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