World Sailing: Hope to Have New Chief Executive by January

Published on December 16th, 2015

Peter Sowrey, formerly the managing director of business process outsourcing and sales for Accenture, was appointed by the International Sailing Federation as its chief executive on July 1, which has since been rebranded as World Sailing.

Five months later he was gone.

Sowrey had replaced Jerome Pels, who resigned in October 2014 following 17 years with the Southampton-based governing body, but that term ended December 2.

Carlo CroceWorld Sailing had initially stated following his departure that the Briton had opted to “pursue other challenges suited to his background”, but World Sailing President Carlo Croce outlined that the governing body’s annual conference held on November 7 to 14 in the Chinese city Sanya had been a key moment.

“There were doubts on both sides that were highlighted when we went to Sanya because the conference is always such a difficult situation with so many issues going on,” said Croce.

“In that moment we both got the feeling that it was very difficult for somebody who was not in this world, but was more used to a corporate environment, to face various issues that came on.

“We thought we might wait to see until the end of the year to see what went on but after two days Peter came to us two days later and said, ‘What should I do’ and then it was decided.”

Sowrey, who was awarded the business development leader of the year award in the United Kingdom in 2011, also previously worked for Ericsson and had given advisory support to the 5 West team and Alex Thomson Racing.

Following his appointment, the governing body had praised his skills in “developing brands, services, sales and organisational capabilities” and Croce admitted Sowrey’s resignation had proved “painful for both sides”.

However, he denied that World Sailing’s Executive Committee was reluctant to make changes stating that “the age of the executive is old but not the heads” and also expressed his hope a replacement would quickly be in place.

“We have been working with members of the Executive Committee and we will probably have someone sitting in the chief executive position in the first half of January,” Croce said.

“It is priority one for us to get someone in the office, we need someone who is there every day to give guidelines and we have such a big year in front with the Olympic Games and other issues.

“We have seen quite a number of candidates and have a shortlist of three, but there is one who particularly for me is the right person and we will come to a decision in a very short time.”

“We want him sitting down here in the first week of January.”


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