For World Sailings President Kim Andersen, the last few weeks have been anything but relaxed: The World Sailing Association is fighting against the risk of bankruptcy in the midst of the Corona crisis. Even as a leader, the helmsman of the international sailing association has had to deal with violent attacks. He contributed to some of this, while others, in the direction of his critics, were clearly over the target and below the belt. While this storm is still going on, especially in the social networks, the World Sailing Association surprises with a personnel that looks like a break free from misery: The British David Graham will take over the CEO position, which his controversial predecessor Andy Hunt will take over in autumn 2019 after a series of missteps had freed quite spontaneously.
David Graham will take on the role of CEO for the World Sailing Federation in mid-July
David Graham served as CEO for the ambitious Arab project Oman Sail for eleven years and retired from this role in April of this year. The short transition period suggests that his new contract with World Sailing was already wrapped up. Graham brings over 20 years of sailing industry experience to the table. He studied leisure management in water sports at Solent University in Southampton. Graham later rose to head the Windsport International Sailing Academy in the UK and worked as sales director for Performance Sailing Europe, where he held the positions of chairman and general manager. In these roles, Graham also led the acquisition of Vanguard Sailboats. He later moved to the USA before taking on responsibility at Oman Sail.
For his new employer, the charismatic 49-year-old Graham now has Herculean tasks to solve: The task is to avert the impending bankruptcy, to repair the damaged ship and get it back on course. Graham himself said in the first official statement only the classic words before taking office: "I am looking forward to this new role at World Sailing. I would like to thank President Kim Andersen and the board for their trust. I look forward to joining World Sailing to develop them and build a strong organization together."
World Sailing President Kim Andersen
Why did World Sailing choose Graham from several applicants in collaboration with headhunting agency Odgers Berndtson, which specializes in sports management? Kim Andersen's Response: "As World Sailing looks to the future and to the next phase of growth, we are confident that David, with his management and sailing experience combined, is the right leader to help us restructure and direct our operations Organization can help. On behalf of the entire World Sailing family, it is a great pleasure for me to welcome David to the team. " David Graham will start his new job on July 13, 2020. Until then, the president, board of directors and senior managers of World Sailings will officially have to deal with a number of current problems without him.