USA Canoe/Kayak Looks for New CEO after Jacobi Set to Step Down

August 28, 2014

USA Canoe/Kayak are searching for a new Chief Executive Officer after current CEO Joe Jacobi revealed he will step down from his position later this year.

“I gave deep consideration in making this decision and remain firmly committed to a strong and healthy USA Canoe/Kayak anchored in Oklahoma City,” said Jacobi.

“But there are important calls to both my personal life and professional endeavors about which I am excited to pursue, including projects and initiatives that directly and indirectly support USA Canoe/Kayak’s mission. The goal is not to leave, but to create space in order to contribute more to national and international paddlesports objectives.” 

“Joe and I have worked closely together over the last 3 years and I can honestly say that he was always positive, earnest, professional and most importantly had USA Canoe/Kayak’s interest first and foremost,” said Bob Lally, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “This announced transition comes at a time when USA Canoe/Kayak has a coordinated and seasoned staff, a strong, and diverse board of directors, and our enterprise is exceptionally well positioned strategically. I have full faith the candidate we select will be well qualified, have a demonstrated track record of success and will lead USA Canoe/Kayak to continued growth and development.” 

Jacobi, a 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist in Canoe Slalom, took the helm of USA Canoe Kayak in 2009 facing challenges of a stagnant sport, diminishing USOC investment and low visibility at its Charlotte, North Carolina headquarters. Since then, Jacobi oversaw the move to the current headquarters in Oklahoma City, a more vibrant city and one that nobody would have expected to be a center for paddlesports. But Oklahoma City’s community chemistry made for a perfect match in developing the vitality of high performance paddlesports. 

Jacobi worked diligently with USA Canoe/Kayak’s Board to streamline the leadership and governance structure of the organization. And as leader, he and his small, hardworking office and coaching staff generated substantial “do more with less” outputs, never accepting failure as an option. 

“Working with minimal resources, our Board and staff came together to create a spirit of ‘we can/we will,'” said Jacobi. “Our athletes, coaches, clubs and programs who stepped up and took action, helped us move the needle towards better results, a more diverse organization and alignment with our mission as well as the mission of the United States Olympic Committee.”