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Streeter Won't Seek USOC's Permanent CEO Position

Under fire since she took the job, U.S. Olympic Committee acting CEO Stephanie Streeter will leave her post in the next five months.

Streeter, who replaced Jim Scherr after he was forced to resign in March, said she wanted to get back into the corporate world. The announcement Wednesday came less than a week after Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting for the 2016 Olympics, an embarrassing loss for which the USOC leadership received a good deal of blame.

The USOC is forming a search committee and will hire a national recruiting firm by the end of this month to find Streeter's replacement.

In several conversations with The Associated Press during the past few weeks, Streeter made it clear she didn't want to stay on and would announce that after the IOC awarded the 2016 Games. She said she realized some people would view her decision as a direct result of the vote and the increasing calls for change in the USOC leadership.

"I had made this decision prior to the bid and clearly it makes sense to announce it as soon after as possible," she told the AP. "It makes sense to announce it at this time so the USOC has a clean slate when it goes into the search process."

Depending on how the CEO search goes, Streeter could be with the USOC through March 21, which is when the Paralympics end in Vancouver. The Vancouver Olympics are set for Feb. 12-28.

"We were disappointed when she told us she did not want to be considered for the CEO position," chairman Larry Probst said. "She's done an excellent job and we're all very grateful for her many contributions to the U.S. Olympic movement."

Her replacement will become the third CEO at the USOC in the span of about a year, after Scherr brought a measure of stability to the Colorado Springs headquarters, staying for six years.

Streeter was under heavy scrutiny almost immediately upon moving into the job from her position on the board of directors. The switch came as a surprise to many in the Olympic movement, in part because the USOC had been functioning relatively smoothly with Scherr at the helm.

She and Probst claimed the USOC needed a different, more businesslike approach to running things, especially considering the bad economy and the reluctance of some sponsors to re-sign with the USOC after the Beijing Olympics.

There were some successes _ a handful of sponsors did come on board, and the USOC was able to increase funding for Winter Games athletes by one-fifth, partly by exceeding projected budget revenues.

Those successes, however, were barely a blip _ overshadowed by the perceived missteps and criticism.

Her arrival never was accepted by key leaders of the country's national governing bodies _ the organizations that run the individual Olympic sports _ who felt blindsided and wondered about the transparency of a move that elevated a volunteer board member into a paid position.

They found more to complain about when the board approved a pay package with a base of $560,000 _ about 30 percent more than what Scherr earned. And even more when the USOC botched the introduction of its TV network and drew criticism from the International Olympic Committee.

"I think we miscalculated on the network," Streeter said when asked if she had any regrets from her seven months on the job. "We miscalculated the reaction from the IOC and our TV partners at NBC. I still think it's a good idea. In retrospect, I would've altered timing on the announcement."

There was also the complicated IOC-USOC revenue-sharing issue that Streeter and Probst managed to table _ but not solve _ about six months before the 2016 vote. Despite efforts on both sides, the lack of a resolution colors almost everything about how Olympic leaders relate to the United States.

In the aftermath of the 2016 vote, there was debate over how damaging revenue-sharing _ and the USOC's internal politics, in general _ were n the eyes of IOC voters who awarded the 2016 Games to Rio de Janeiro last week.

Regardless, Chicago's elimination in the first round was universally viewed as an embarrassment and one of the biggest surprises ever handed down by the voters. One IOC member, Denis Oswald, went so far as to call it "a defeat for the USOC, not for Chicago."

Streeter thought, as many did, that the lure of bringing the Olympics to South America for the first time was too big a lure for any city to overcome.

"And there were many factors that played into the Chicago showing," she said. "The network was one of them, and there were dozens more that others speculated on."