At today’s Board meeting, British Cycling’s chair, Jonathan Browning, announced that he will stand down from the position on 1 December in compliance with the new Code for Sports Governance which requires a new independent chair to be appointed. Jonathan became chair in February 2017, succeeding Bob Howden OBE.
Commenting on his decision to stand down, Jonathan Browning said: “When I stepped into the role of chair in February, British Cycling was in the depths of a crisis, facing severe reputational damage and there was an absence of strong, visible leadership. It was clear to me that we needed to very quickly stabilise the organisation and put in place a comprehensive plan to rapidly introduce major changes to the World Class Programme and to our leadership, operations and governance which were in need of immediate reform and repair.
“Over the past nine months, we have done exactly that. The efforts of so many across British Cycling - including both staff and riders - have resulted in: a comprehensive set of plans to address every recommendation within the Cycling Independent Review; approval for all the changes required for British Cycling to comply with the Code for Sports Governance; funding secured from UK Sport and Sport England for the Tokyo Olympic cycle; the implementation of a new medical services staff and structure; new grievance, whistleblowing and athlete representation processes; and the commissioning and implementation of recommendations from an external financial audit. On top of all this, and perhaps most critically, we have appointed strong new leaders including Julie Harrington, our chief executive officer, and Stephen Park, our performance director.”
Jonathan has also confirmed that he has decided to withdraw his candidacy for the role of independent chair, for which the British Cycling Nominations Committee is currently recruiting. Jonathan will return to his previous role as a Non-Executive Director (NED) on the British Cycling Board. His current term comes to an end on 31st March 2018, which can be renewed for a further two terms.
Jonathan went on to say: “When I look back over the period that I have been chair, I am immensely proud of what has been achieved and feel confident about the position that British Cycling is now in. Despite coming a long way, there is still more to do. I have a passion to see through the transformation that we started, and have been encouraged by others to continue this work, which is why I put myself forward as a candidate for the role of independent chair. However as I went through the process, it became clearer to me that British Cycling would benefit from a new leader to see it through the next stage of its development, particularly as British Cycling re-shapes its relationships with its public funding partners.
“I remain as committed as ever to ensuring that British Cycling continues to move in the right direction and at a pace faster than any other national governing body. The new chair can be assured of my continuing support in this endeavour.”
Marian Lauder, chair of the British Cycling Nominations Committee, said: “I can confirm that Jonathan Browning has excluded himself from the process of appointing a new independent chair of the board. As planned, his current tenure as chair means he will remain in post until 1st December. The new chair will be announced in due course.
“In common with all the volunteers on which our sport depends, Jonathan gave unstintingly of his time for no financial reward and successfully steered the organisation through some of the most difficult days in our history. He fully deserves the thanks and gratitude of our entire organisation.”
Julie Harrington, British Cycling CEO, said: “I would like to place on record my personal thanks to Jonathan who has given me strong support and great advice through the first few months of my time as chief executive. Under his leadership, British Cycling defined and has begun rapid changes to adapt and grow into the role it has earned in the public life of this country and that is a process I am committed to continuing.”