International Paralympic Committee Picks Odgers Berndtson to Find CEO

June 4, 2019 – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has commenced a search for a new CEO and selected global search firm Odgers Berndtson to oversee the assignment. Odgers has been tasked with finding a leader who can take IPC to the next stage of its business development in the wake of the departure of Xavier Gonzalez. Recruiters Simon Cummins and Federico Filippi are leading the assignment.

“Following the departure of our former CEO in March, the IPC governing board initiated a process to find an international firm who we felt could best lead the global search for our new CEO,” said Andrew Parsons, president of IPC. “This is a vital appointment for the IPC as we look to embark on a new and exciting chapter in our 30th anniversary year. We want someone to take the IPC to the next level, develop and empower our workforce and strength engagement with the IPC’s many stakeholders.”

“After a lengthy process, we have appointed Odgers Berndtson, a company with a strong track record for finding leaders for several international and national sport organizations,” Mr. Parsons said. “The organization has already started work and we look forward to them putting forward a shortlist of candidates in the near future.”

Champion Leader

IPC wants someone with CEO experience who can champion its inclusion and diversity agenda, always valuing and respecting differences. Candidates must have proven ability to establish a strategic vision for a business and lead the organizational, management and cultural changes to realize that vision. “The right candidate will also have a strong track record of delivering against demanding targets with evidence of success in generating growth,” said Odgers Berndtson.

The ideal choice would be an influential, effective individual who is articulate, tactful and open in communicating with others, across multi-cultural boundaries, the search firm said. He or she should be politically astute and with an open style. The new CEO must be able to build trust as well as effective working relationships with IPC’s stakeholders.

Related: Sports Recruiting Finds Its Own Field of Dreams

IPC also wants someone with the ability to delegate, empower and develop directors. “Someone who will enthuse and inspire employees,” said Odgers Berndtson. “Capable of motivating people to work towards a common goal in a harmonious and positive environment. Some experience of the sport industry and the complexities of sports politics would be desirable, as would an understanding of the business of sport and its key commercial drivers.”


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The International Paralympic Committee, founded in 1989, is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. Its purpose is to organize the summer and winter Paralympic Games and act as the international federation for 10 sports, supervising and coordinating world championships and other competitions. Based in Bonn, Germany, IPC aims to develop sports opportunities for all people with an impairment, from beginner to the elite level.

Growing Search Firm

Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search, leadership assessment and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries. The U.S. wing of the firm launched in 2011. Under Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S., the organization has become one of the fastest growing search firms in the Americas. Odgers Berndtson has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Related: Executive Recruiters Continue Their Expansion into the Sports Industry

Mr. Cummins is head of Odgers Berndtson’s global sports practice. He specializes in placing leaders into sports organizations, such as the CEOs of London 2012, the RFU, the FA, PGA European Tour and MCFC. On a world-wide basis he has placed leaders into UFC, WWE, World Rugby, the IOC and many international federations.

Mr. Filippi is an associate who manages senior search assignments across sports and geographies, with a focus on international roles. He also coordinates the sports practice research function. He has dedicated his career to executive search and previously managed in-house research for another London-based firm.

Related: Recruiters Offer Sports Clients an Expanding Talent Platform

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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