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Posted: January 9, 2007

Athletics: London Business Executive Named First-Ever UK Athletics Chairman

From David Monti

© 2006 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

By Bob Ramsak

Ed Warner, a London businessman, was named the first-ever Chairman of UK Athletics, the governing body announced today.

Warner, 43, will assume the newly-created post immediately, a part-time position similar to that of the chairman of a public company. His primary duty will be to guide the federation as it prepares the sport for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“Ed was by far and away the outstanding candidate for the new post of Chairman of UKA,” said John Taylor, one of the governing body’s non-executive directors who managed the recruiting process. “His experience speaks for itself and he is exactly what UKA needs to take it to the next level. He makes things happen, he is a winner in business and will help provide real leadership to the sport.”

Although described as a keen amateur runner, Warner has no experience in sport, but was widely hailed as the best candidate.

“I am hugely excited by the challenge of leading the sport of athletics through to 2012 and beyond,” said Warner, who is perhaps best known to Britons through his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph and financial commentaries on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today program. “As a keen athletics fan, I know there is talent out there to enable us to achieve great things at our home Games in five years time.”

"I am delighted that Ed has agreed to take up the new role of Chairman of UK Athletics,” said Sebastian Coe, the former middle distance world record holder and Olympic champion who is Chairman of LOCOG, London’s 2012 Organizing Committee. “His track record in business speaks volumes and his vision will be a welcome addition to the athletics community.”

UKA President Lynn Davies and Peter Radcliffe, Chairman of England Athletics, were also consulted during the recruitment process.

“In Ed we have got a world class leader who has vast experience in managing complex organizations,” Taylor added. “He is passionate about athletics and as a club runner himself has a perspective of the sport from its grassroots.”

Expected to be among his first major decisions is the appointment of a successor to Dave Moorcroft, who resigned as Chief Executive late last year. Warner said he expects the announcement to be made shortly.

“We are at the advanced stage of the recruitment process,” he said. “We have had some outstanding applicants and I am confident that we will be in a position to announce Dave’s successor soon.”

Warner successfully sold the financial trading company IFX Group in 2006, having been its Chief Executive for three years. Previously he was CEO of Old Mutual Financial Services UK. A competitive local runner, he has completed seven marathons over the last five years and is an active member of the Fittleworth Flyers, a running club based in West Sussex.

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