LAUSANNE: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is close to
appointing a global director of communications - a year after the
departure of incumbent Franklin Servan-Schreiber.
Servan-Schreiber left the IOC in 2001, but recruitment for his
replacement was put on hold while the body's presidential elections took
place earlier last year.
IOC spokesman, Sandrine Chappuis said: 'We took some time in recruiting
because of the new president coming in - we didn't want to go ahead and
employ someone before they arrived.'
President Jacques Rogge was elected in July last year to replace the
outgoing head Juan Antonio Samaranch.
His appointment was surrounded by controversy when presidential
candidate Kim Un-Yong made allegations of impropriety in the election
The body's director-general Francois Carrard has been overseeing the
communications role while recruitment took place, supported by a
skeleton press team of two, based in Switzerland.
Chappuis said the IOC had already shortlisted candidates for the top
communications post and is a few weeks away from making a decision: 'We
have a shortlist and the recruitment procedure is very close to being
The role will cover all international communications for the IOC, except
sponsorship, which is overseen by the marketing division.
Servan-Schreiber joined the IOC in March 1999 with plans to restructure
the body's PR department (PRWeek, 16 March 1999). At the time of his
appointment, the PR team stood at nine staff, but has now shrunk to just
Chappuis said the IOC is currently driving intensive PR and
communications campaigns ahead of the Winter Games in Salt Lake City,
Utah, next month.
The IOC retains PR agency Hill & Knowlton for ad hoc external PR