“My life for the next few months will be like running a marathon at a sprinter’s pace,” Ward says. The USOC coordinates the Olympic-related activity of the 72 different U.S. sports organizations that are involved in the Games. As CEO, Ward oversees that effort, as well as the USOC’s 500-plus staff and $125 million annual budget.
Ward was selected unanimously for the job after impressing the search committee with his enthusiasm and energy. Rather than bringing notes to his interview, he brought a laptop computer and made a presentation.
Ward, 52, earned an M.B.A. while working at Procter & Gamble. He joined Pepsico in 1992, later becoming president of Frito-Lay Inc.’s central division. He then joined Maytag in 1996, becoming its chairman in 1999. He served that role for 15 months before becoming chairman of the Internet firm iMotors.