Olympics bid still in need of CEO Securing 2012 Games for Baltimore-D.C. area is at stake

Executive search

September 18, 1998|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN STAFF

Hiring a chief executive to spearhead the Baltimore-Washington area's bid for the 2012 Olympics is taking longer than expected.

Business and civic leaders knew it was ambitious but had hoped to fill the position by this month. They now say it may be the first of the year before someone is in place.

"We're still a long way from really having anyone come in as our CEO and president," said John Morton III, president of NationsBank Corp.'s Mid-Atlantic Banking Group, and volunteer chairman of the Washington-Baltimore Regional 2012 Coalition. "I think that we know what we want. It's just that we're still in that process."

The coalition has received 56 resumes for the position, according to Robert J. Flanagan, executive vice president of Clark Enterprises Inc. and vice president of the coalition, who also serves as chairman of its search committee.

"It's a high-caliber response," Flanagan said. "We were pleased by the interest across the board. We're going to move deliberately and expeditiously to put a qualified candidate in place."

The group has begun having lunches and meetings with candidates, Flanagan said. He hopes to have a short list by the end of the month but has not decided how many names will appear on that list.

The successful candidate is expected to be of CEO caliber, with experience in fund raising.

Korn/Ferry International, a prominent executive search firm, has been retained to recruit the chief executive. The CEO is expected to receive a six-figure salary and be in charge of everything from raising millions of dollars from corporations and hiring staff to crafting a formal bid for the Olympics.

Because the goal is putting together a winning bid, the job will require a person who is able to build support in the business community and with elected officials, a spokesman for the search firm has said.

The chief executive would report to the executive committee of the board, which Morton chairs, officials have said.

The Washington-Baltimore region is competing against San Francisco; Arlington, Texas; Cincinnati; Houston; New York; Seattle; Tampa-Orlando, Fla.; and Los Angeles.

In March 2002, that list will be narrowed to an unspecified number of finalists by the United States Olympic Committee. The final selection of a U.S. city will be made by the USOC later that year.

The winner then will go against international competitors that have not been decided upon but could include Cairo, Egypt, and Johannesburg, South Africa. The International Olympic Committee will choose a site for the 2012 Games in 2005.

Pub Date: 9/18/98

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