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U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announces layoffs, furloughs

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee announces layoffs, furloughs

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland told her staff Thursday that the organization is eliminating 51 positions and that another 33 employees have been placed on furlough.

Hirshland said last month that the organization needed to reduce expenses by 10 to 20 percent over the 2020-2024 quad to offset the financial impact of postponing the Olympic Games in Tokyo originally scheduled for this summer, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The USOPC is also facing a series of lawsuits related to the organizations and some of the national governing bodies under its umbrella such as USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo.

The USOPC listed $ 322.86 million in revenue and $ 275.1 million in expenses in an Internal Revenue Service filing for the fiscal year 2018, the most recent year available. The organization spent $ 7.64 million on compensation for executives and top officers, $ 37.7 million on other salaries and wages, and $ 7.5 million in pension contributions and other benefits in 2018. The USOPC also listed $ 13.6 million in legal fees for 2018.

The USOPC listed $ 336.6 million in assets in the filing.

The following is Hirshland’s letter to USOPC employees:

Team,

As each of us processes the emotions of today, I hope that you have found some time to connect with colleagues and friends. Our relationships are so important as we navigate tumultuous times together. Thank you for making this a priority and investing a little extra time to take care of yourself and one another.

Today we notified 51 team members that their positions have been eliminated and another 33 that their roles have been placed on furlough. In addition, we have ended the assignments of 23 temporary workers and offered 32 team members a reassignment opportunity that provides them a different role from the one they had previously occupied.

I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of this change. It is significant.

You deserve to understand the decisions we made and how our organization, Team USA athletes and NGBs will be impacted. You may remember that on April 21st we came together to discuss the impact of the Tokyo Games postponement and the COVID 19 virus on our organization’s financial stability. I explained that the revenue we projected to collect this year, and in future years, would decline. As a result of that, we decided to proactively reduce our expenses by 10-20% over the 2020-2024 timeframe to ensure we will be able to deliver against our mission and serve Team USA athletes for years to come. We defined the principles that would guide our decisions and promised to complete our evaluation by the end of May – and I also told you that everything was on the table, including layoffs and furloughs.

Over the past four weeks our leaders have worked with the support of a cross-functional team from finance, strategy and business consulting, and people and culture to evaluate their strategic priorities, operational mandates, current budgeted investments and the skills and people required to accomplish their objectives over the next 4.5 years. They did this evaluation with the goal of finding the necessary efficiency to reach our target reduction.

During this time, we have also continued to learn more about the future and the challenges we all face in returning to work, to training and to events and competitions. It has become clear that it will take months, and not weeks, for us to return to full operation, particularly at our training centers in Colorado Springs and Lake Placid. We are adapting, even more than we had imagined, to a new way of operating and we cannot predict how long it will take before we have clarity on what the future holds.

This reality, coupled with the economic challenges that are impacting our revenue, have led us to identify several areas where we will reduce our planned investments over the remainder of this year and throughout the next quadrennial.

Next Tuesday morning we will review these planned changes in more detail during a virtual Town Hall. For today, our focus will remain on our team members.

Many of you have already discussed the changes that will occur within your team with your managers. If you have not, you will have the opportunity to do so soon. For some, there will be a lot of change and for others, there will be little or no change at all. But all of us will need to adapt to a smaller team, new accountabilities, and a different structure. That process will take some time and a good bit of patience.

At the end of a difficult day, and a tough month, we must all be asking ourselves if something that feels so awful is necessary and right.

I believe that these actions are the right ones. All of this will make the difference. Because it isn’t one thing that will determine our success. It is the right combination of mission, values, strategic focus, discipline, talent, and fiscal responsibility and efficiency that will define our success. These actions will:

1.       Sustain the resources required for Team USA athletes to achieve competitive success

2.       Support Team USA athletes in new ways off the field of play through health and wellness, engagement, and a deeper commitment to safety than ever before

3.       Deliver an exceptional experience for the Team USA Delegation at three Games over a four-year timeframe

4.       Invest in the strength and compliance of our partner NGBs so that they too can support Team USA athletes better than ever

5.       Integrate our teams in innovative ways to optimize the impact of our voice and those of Team USA athletes as we, collectively, inspire our country

6.       Reward our talented team members for delivering results and living by our values

7.       Lay the foundation for a strong organization not only in the next quad, but the one after that in which we welcome the world to our home.

We owe it to Team USA and all our supporters. Today and for years to come.

I look forward to being with all of you on Tuesday.

Sarah

 


Press Enterprise