After a 1 1/2-year search, USA Track and Field announced Monday that former NASCAR and music industry executive Max Siegel would become the organization’s fourth chief executive officer.
Siegel, 47, will earn $500,000 annually for two years and assume his duties May 1, less than three months before the start of the Summer Games in London. Siegel succeeds Doug Logan, the outspoken former head of Major League Soccer who was fired in the fall 2010 after barely two years in the CEO post.
Siegel, who served on the USATF board from February 2009 through September 2011, said the 30-medal target set for the 2012 U.S. Olympic track team by Logan will remain. The U.S. team won 23 medals during a difficult and disappointing Olympics in Beijing in 2008.
“We’ve said 30 medals, and we’re sticking by it,” Siegel said.
The USATF board voted unanimously to hire Siegel, allowing interim CEO Mike McNees to return to his duties as chief operating officer. Siegel said he intended to improve the organization’s relationship with its commercial, television and marketing partners while emphasizing grassroots efforts and also ensuring the excellence of its elite athletes.
“Who wouldn’t want this challenge,” Siegel said. “I really felt like I wanted to do something to make an impact with an organization beyond the competition on the field . . .”
Siegel’s company, Max Siegel, Inc., has done marketing work in recent months for USATF; that relationship will now end, Siegel said. He previously served in executive posts at Dale Earnhardt Inc., Sony/BMG and Zomba Gospel, Tommy Boy Gospel and Verity Records. He owns the NASCAR team Rev Racing, and has directed NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.