Less than two months after Ken Read stepped down chief executive officer of Alpine Canada, the former Crazy Canuck has been named as the new president of Alberta Alpine.
( The press release isn’t up on the web yet, but here is the text of the announcement:
KEN READ TO LEAD ALBERTA ALPINE
Former Crazy Canuck Brings Experience, Passion and Record of Success to Post
CALGARY, Alberta – Former Alpine Canada Alpin Chief Executive Officer Ken Read will lead Alberta Alpine, filling the position of President, which was vacated by Thomas Grandi who resigned in July to pursue his dream of Olympic gold.
“The drive, track record of success, passion, and experience of Ken Read builds on the tremendous momentum two-time World Cup gold medalist Thomas Grandi created for our organization and our sport in Alberta,” said board chair Mike Irwin. “We are delighted to bring his leadership to the athletes, programs and events of Alberta Alpine so we may continue to be a strong supporter of ski racing excellence in Canada.”
Read, one of Canada’s most accomplished alpine ski racers as a member of the Crazy Canucks, stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Alpine Canada Alpin in July. His appointment as President of Alberta Alpine is effective immediately. )
By all measures, Read did a fantastic job at Alpine Canada. Not only are Canadian skiers actually hitting the podium again, (the team moved from 12th in the world rankings in 2002, when he took over, to sixth in 2008, with a record 14 World Cup podiums and a World Championships silver medal in 2006-07.) But he took an organization that was in deficit and led it back into the black, in large part because better athletes=more funding. Heading into Vancouver 2010, Alpine Canada’s budget is now $21 million, a three-fold increase.
The ostensible reason for Read’s departure from Alpine Canada was a the budding ski career of his son Erik — a silver medallist in the downhill at last year’s world junior championships — who had recently joined the Alpine Canada program. A federation rule prohibits the parents of national team racers from executive level employment.
Few in the ski scene bought that however. At the time, there was much muttering that Read was actually being pushed out after conflicts with Alpine Canada’s board. And that his strong national vision for the team wasn’t going down well in the provincial fiefdoms, the traditional centres of skiing power in Canada. All of which was strenuously denied by Reid Drury, chair of Alpine Canada’s board of directors.
So, here we are less than two months later and Read is suddenly running one of the country’s biggest provincial bodies.
Good news for the sport and Canada’s hopes for 2010. Perhaps not so good for those who wished to see the back of him.
Although, it may only be a temporary gig. Read is considered a front-runner to become either the CEO or President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, when Chris Rudge and Mike Chambers hit the end of their contracts/terms in 2010.