Kerry Perry has resigned her position effective immediately as president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, days after new U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland called for more changes in the organization in the aftermath of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. USA Gymnastics intends to identify an interim CEO and will establish a search committee to find a permanent replacement.
“On behalf of the board of USA Gymnastics, I want to thank Kerry for her leadership under very difficult circumstances,” said Karen Golz, chair of the USA Gymnastics board. “In the wake of horrific events that have impacted our athletes and the entire gymnastics community, USA Gymnastics has made progress in stabilizing itself and setting a new path to ensure that the safety and interests of our athletes remains at the heart of our mission.”
Perry took over as the leader of the national governing body in November 2017 following the resignation of long-time President Steve Penny. The USOC later sought and received the resignation of the entire board of directors of the NGB as well.
Last week, USA Gymnastics came under more scrutiny after firing its new elite program coordinator just three days into the job after it was revealed she had contacted Olympian Aly Raisman, who is one of many athletes abused by Nassar and who has filed legal action against the governing body. The episode caused Hirshland, who has just started her job at the USOC following the resignation of CEO Scott Blackmun, to issue a statement calling for more change.
“Under the circumstances, we feel that the organization is struggling to manage its obligations effectively and it is time to consider making adjustments in the leadership,” Hirshland said.In accepting Perry’s resignation, the new USA Gymnastics board noted that the organization has begun implementing changes recommended by Deborah Daniels, who had outlined a series of steps for the Indianapolis-based NGB to change its culture and better protect its athletes.
“Over the past nine months, USA Gymnastics has been in the midst of a major transition as it implements recommendations made by Deborah Daniels in her report, following her independent review of the organization’s safe sport policies and procedures, as well as directives of the USOC,” Golz said. “These changes have included amending the organization’s by-laws and the appointment of an entirely new board of directors, made up of eight independent members and seven from within the gymnastics community. Most importantly, USA Gymnastics has been focused on athlete safety and well-being and ensuring that programs and protocols are in place to prevent all forms of abuse and to encourage athletes to speak up. This process has been challenging, and painful, but is a necessary step in moving the community forward.”
USAG board member and Olympian Brent Lang, president and CEO of Vocera, will chair the search committee to find a permanent president and CEO. The committee is expected to be comprised of USAG board members, athletes and others from the gymnastics and NGB community.