SAN FRANCISCO (#1262) — Over the past several weeks, World Sailing President Kim Andersen (DEN) has been holding telephonic "town halls" with WS Member National Authorities ("MNAs") and other stakeholders in an attempt to shore up their flagging confidence in his leadership. Among other topics, he has tried to reassure them that the organization would not go bankrupt, and that they have been interviewing candidates to replace the disgraced former CEO, Andy Hunt (GBR), who was excused from further participation last October two weeks before the Annual General Meeting in Bermuda.
Last week the beleaguered and befuddled President began spinning the sailing media about these same matters, including Mikkel Thommessen (NOR), who was my guest on last Tuesday's TFE LIVE (watch a replay here).
We, however, have been telling you otherwise via this website and our twice weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) TFE LIVE webcast — including again last Friday when my guest was Luca Devoti (ITA), watch a replay here.
There was not a snowball's chance in hell that Mr Andersen would be able to hire a CEO, let alone a good one, any time soon. Why? Because of the organization's brutal financial condition, given the uncertainty over the location going forward of the hugely expensive WS office in pricey central London, and the increasing (with each passing week) likelihood that Mr Andersen will not be re-elected to a second term in November — if he even makes it to November.
Not to mention that World Sailing might not exist in its present form in November if it goes bust in the meantime.
Finally facing up to the grim reality, today Mr Andersen told the authoritative Olympic website Inside The Games that World Sailing would not appoint a new CEO until later next year — yes, in late 2021 — meaning WS will have had no CEO for two years.
One can only wonder how much money World Sailing has already spent on the headhunters that Mr Andersen told those assembled in Bermuda for last October's AGM had been hired to undertake the search. Yes, of course we know that executive search firms are not paid the big bucks (usually a third of the hiree's annual salary, which in Mr Hunt's case was north of GBP 200,000) until they deliver an acceptable candidate. But such firms are almost always paid a retainer and, regardless, their out-of-pocket expenses must be reimbursed.
I'll say it again — Mr Andersen should resign, and do it now. World Sailing and our sport needs to be spared the continued aggravation of his croutonic incompetence. The current Board can then tap one of the current Vice Presidents to bridge the gap until the election of fresh, new leadership at the AGM in November.
Sailors everywhere will welcome it, as, no doubt, will the IOC.
As always, that latest on this sad saga on Tuesday's TFE LIVE at 1300 Pacific / 2200 CET / 0800+1 NZT on our Sailing Illustrated Facebook page, or watch a replay there later.