US Sailing’s board of directors has announced an operational restructuring of the team leading up to the 2024 Olympic Summer Games in Paris.
Changes include splitting the duties of executive director into two roles. A head of Olympic operations will focus full-time on this part of the role, while a second position will focus on fundraising for the team. The executive director position previously was responsible for both roles.
In response, Paul Cayard resigned as executive director over the weekend. Cayard told The Associated Press that he couldn’t work under the restructuring and that he was told minutes before the board of directors meeting that he would be asked to focus on fundraising while someone else ran the team.
“Unfortunately, the current board of US Sailing recently restructured the Olympic Department, including my role as executive director,” Cayard said. “The new structure is not what I signed up for, nor something I am willing to be part of. I am not a quitter, but I do know when it is time to go. I am grateful to those who supported this mission with me. I wish our USA athletes great success and I always will be there for them.”
US Sailing’s statement said the restructuring aims to dedicate the resources necessary to ensure all aspects of successfully operating the team receive the attention they deserve. A search committee comprised of US Sailing board members is being created to fill the roles and in the interim, Olympian Sarah Lihan and longtime board member Henry Brauer will help oversee the team.
“We are proud of the accomplishments made with respect to the Olympic Team and the development of our athletes over the past couple of years under the leadership of Paul Cayard,” said Board of Directors President Rich Jepsen. “We have done what all good organizations do, which is to continually assess how to be even better. In talking with many athletes and other stakeholders in that regard, the Board believes that dedicating the necessary resources for these two valuable areas will help better position our athletes for success on the podium.”