World 110m hurdles medallist and businessman replaces Olivier Gers, who resigned in March
Jon Ridgeon has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The 51-year-old former British record-holder won world 110m hurdles silver in Rome in 1987 and represented Great Britain in two Olympic Games – Seoul in 1988 and Atlanta in 1996.
He has since gone on to set up and run successful businesses in sport and is currently executive chairman of CSM Active, which is the active lifestyle division of CSM Sport and Entertainment, where IAAF president Sebastian Coe is executive chairman.
“Having spent my life in sport, this is a dream job for me and I am absolutely thrilled,” said Ridgeon, who was a director of Athletics Weekly for a spell at the turn of the millennium.
“Athletics is my passion and I have devoted the vast majority of the last 20 years to creating successful commercial partnerships, developing new events that drive participation at both elite and grassroots levels, as well as leading organisations that deliver significant projects across the globe.
“I am delighted to be joining world athletics at this exciting time and look forward to working with Seb, a strong team and all our member federations across the globe.”
Ridgeon replaces Frenchman Olivier Gers, who resigned from the position in March after 18 months in the role. Ridgeon will take up his new role next March.
Commenting on the appointment, Coe said: “I, and a number of the IAAF Council members, have known Jon for many years and admired his passion, energy and innovation in sport, particularly athletics.
“His experience in putting together great teams, running large successful companies, delivering top class events and bringing strong commercial partners into sport makes him the right choice for this role.
“I am delighted he has accepted the offer to join the organisation as we embark on further developing and growing the sport across the globe. The next three years, with two World Championships and an Olympic Games, will be an exciting and challenging time for our sport and we are confident that Jon has the right experience and energy to maximise the opportunities we have.”
The IAAF president added: “My thanks, and that of the IAAF Council, go to Nigel Garfitt, who stepped in as acting CEO in March this year and will continue to work with the organisation through to the IAAF World Championships in Doha in September 2019, to support Jon and ensure a smooth transition across the sport.”