USA Gymnastics CEO Kerry Perry Resigns After Just Nine Months

Alex Wong / Getty Images

Under increasing pressure following the Larry Nassar scandal, Kerry Perry announced on Monday night that she would be resigning from her post as USA Gymnastics’ CEO, effective immediately.

Perry has faced heavy criticism over her failure to take action to save face for the organization following the sentencing of the former team doctor back in January. A number of changes were suggested in order to help the organization recover, and a new report indicates that less than half of those changes were actually implemented by Perry, according to Fox News.

All of the major sponsors also pulled out of their deals following the scandal.

USA Gymnastics issued a statement on Tuesday morning regarding Perry’s resignation, stating that a search committee will be formed in order to find someone “who can help the organization build on the progress made, and achieve fundamental cultural changes.”

“Over the past nine months, USA Gymnastics has been in the midst of a major transition as it implements recommendations made by Deborah Daniels in her report, following her independent review of the organization’s safe sport policies and procedures, as well as directives of the USOC. These changes have included amending the organization’s by-laws and the appointment of an entirely new board of directors, made up of eight independent members and seven from within the gymnastics community. Most importantly, USA Gymnastics has been focused on athlete safety and well-being and ensuring that programs and protocols are in place to prevent all forms of abuse and to encourage athletes to speak up,” part of the statement read.

According to Yahoo, Perry’s resignation wasn’t entirely voluntary. The publication cited “multiple reports” that indicated particular pressure on Perry from the U.S. Olympic Committee “over her multiple missteps since taking the job.” It was strongly hinted that Perry would be forced out in a statement made by U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland on Friday night, in which she said it was “time to consider making adjustments in the leadership,” reported USA Today.

Board member Brent Lang has been touted as the head of the committee tasked with replacing Perry. In the meantime, an interim CEO will be appointed until a suitable long-term replacement can be found.

Perry’s departure announcement came just days after USAG’s elite development coordinator Mary Lee Tracy was forced to resign after it was revealed she had “inappropriately contacted Aly Raisman,” one of the many survivors of Nassar’s sexual assaults. Tracy had previously been on record defending Nassar when the sordid details of his years of abuse of the US Gymnastics team’s female athletes came to light.

Olympic champion Simon Biles also made a statement after the sport was forced to host its national competition in August without a title sponsor.

“Hopefully it’s going in the right direction, but nobody can know until Kerry Perry speaks up. So it’s kind of hard.”

When Perry was appointed as CEO on December 1, she had no experience with gymnastics or the Olympic movement. The previous CEO, Steve Penny, had been forced to resign after it was decided that the organization was grossly mishandling sexual abuse complaints.