CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall to leave USA Cycling at year’s end
USA Cycling is once again on the hunt for another chief executive.
It’s in a decidedly better place than last time.
Derek Bouchard-Hall announced Friday he is resigning as president and CEO at the end of the year, opening a job he assumed in 2015 amid uncertain times. The sport was still getting over doping stains from the Lance Armstrong era, and a massive schism had developed between the national governing body’s twin goals of fostering the sport at an amateur level and pushing its high-performance program.
Bouchard-Hall, who came to the organization from the retail side of the cycling industry, slowly and meticulously rebuilt USA Cycling. He overhauled its leadership structure, hired a wave of coaches and administrators for its world championship and Olympic teams, built relationships with grass-roots organizations and established new sponsorship streams to help with growth.
“The foundation for a brighter future for USA Cycling has been built,” said Bob Stapleton, the chairman of its board of directors, “but we know that much work remains to be done. The next leader of USA Cycling must have that same sense of purpose and urgency to continue our progress.”
Stapleton, who will help run the organization until a replacement is found, said Friday the search is already underway. An outside firm is helping a small committee to identify candidates.
“This will be a fantastic opportunity for the right person,” Stapleton said.
Bouchard-Hall was certainly the right person three years ago, when he was hired away from retail giant Wiggle. The former criterium national champion and a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team, he had a business degree from Harvard and the optimism needed during a dark period for cycling.
He championed opportunities for women and amateurs, helped organize the 2015 world championships in Richmond, Virginia, and led the U.S. team that competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Now it’s up to his successor to take the organization into the future.
Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong has retired, and stalwarts of the national team such as Megan Guarnier are in the twilight of their careers. And that means the U.S. team that competes at future world championships and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will look nothing like the teams that have helped the U.S. deliver a modest medal haul the past few years.
Bouchard-Hall declined to say where he is headed, though he did say it would be a company with ties to USA Cycling. That announcement is expected in the coming weeks.
“Deciding to leave USA Cycling to take on a new role was the hardest professional decision of my life. I have loved serving the American bike racing community,” Bouchard-Hall said in a statement. “My professional career has focused on improving organizations and setting them on a new path. I am confident that I have done that at USA Cycling.”