From Boardrooms To Snowboards

Ex-Maytag CEO now heads U.S. Olympic Committee

He may no longer be associated with Maytag Corp., but Lloyd Ward is hoping he can play the repairman for a 2002 Olympic Winter Games that have been plagued by scandal.

The former Maytag CEO (see “Navigating Rough Waters,” this issue) took a bit of a departure from the corporate world to join the U.S. Olympic Committee as its CEO — the first African American to hold that position. In this capacity, he’ll oversee virtually all operations associated with the development of U.S. Olympic teams.

First on the agenda for Ward is cleaning up the image surrounding Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Allegations of corruption abound after two former International Olympic Committee (IOC) members were charged with accepting some $1 million in bribes for votes favoring Salt Lake City as the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. After the news broke, the IOC booted several members and quickly adopted reforms that included an ethics commission and a ban on visits by IOC members to Olympic bidding cites.

“We want to make sure all of that’s done above board, on a level playing field, and on an ethical basis,” Ward says. “And those reforms are in place, and we’re deploying them.” The 2002 Olympic Winter Games are from February 8-24.

Ward resigned from Maytag in November 2000 over a difference of “strategic outlook and direction” with the company’s board of directors, according to a statement by Maytag at that time.

Ward brushed off queries about possibly returning to the corporate world full-time. “I am fully engaged, excited, [and] optimistic about the future.” However, if the past is any indication, the always aggressive Ward could turn up anywhere at any time. Stay tuned.

ACROSS THE WEB