Rio 2016 Fires Marketing Director Over Difference of Opinion

October 17, 2011

Rio 2016, chief commercial and marketing director, Maggie Sanchez has been fired from her position due to a lack of cohesion between her and the rest of the Organising Committee.

The American, a Harvard Business School graduate, joined Rio 2016 last year to lead the largest sponsorship programme ever launched in Brazil.

Sanchez had held a number of leadership roles prior to Rio 2016 at major companies, including Microsoft and Vodafone, while her key responsibilities at the Organising Committee included generating revenue for the Olympics and Paralympics thorough sponsorship, tickets, licensing, partner services and marketing.

But she has now been forced to leave her position after falling out with the rest of the Rio 2016 over her marketing strategies.

Carlos Villanova, Rio 2016’s communications director, said “Maggie Sanchez is no longer Rio 2016 commercial and marketing director due to an incompatibility of philosophies between her and the rest of the team. It was quite simply a case that her strategies differed from the rest of the team and we were unable to reach a compromise or find a solution.

“We wish Maggie the best of luck. Leonardo Gryner, Rio 2016 chief executive, will serve as the interim commercial and marketing director until a replacement is found.”

Also dismissed from Sanchez’s team were David Alstadter and Rogerio Ludorf.

Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman, who is also attending the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, confirmed that his organisation is now looking for a replacement to Sanchez but that he is confident Gryner will be able to fill the void in the meantime as he previously served a decade as marketing director of the Brazilian NOC.

“Those who start a project are not necessarily the same people who end this same project,” he said.

“We are now looking for a replacement. In the meantime, our chief executive Leonardo Gryner is very capable of filling the role [which he will occupy alongside his position as chief executive] on a temporary basis.”

Gryner had claimed earlier this year that his philosophy was to reduce the number of sponsors for the Olympic and Paralympics in Brazil by securing their sponsorship target of  $1.2billion with the minimum amount of sponsorship deals in order to increase the benefits for them.

Rio 2016 has already generated over $632 million of their sponsorship target, including a huge world-record Olympic deal of over $320 million with Brazilian bank Bradesco which is more than twice what Lloyds TSB paid for the same category at London 2012.

To discuss this topic click here