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It's Official -John Furlong Named 2010 CEO


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Well, the first controversy of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Committee seems to have dissipated somewhat.

John Furlong has been named CEO of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Apparently, on the local evening news broadcast, an insider was also quoted as stating that Dick Pound also now supports the appointment.

Now the real work begins.

Furlong Named 2010 CEO

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I'm surprised to hear he is only getting paid $300,000 a year

Doesn't seem much

I think that's a reasonable amount per year...i surely don't want anymore of my tax dollars to go into just one person's pocket. Also, he will get a 25% bonus if all objectives are met.

As expected, Furlong is the CEO. Congratulations! :D  This is a new beginning for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Winter Games! :)  

VIVE LE 2010! :D

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The CEO salary package is comparable with what top executives are paid in the health, hospital and Crown corporation sectors.

And the IOC had always favoured Furlong as CEO.

"This is not a job, this is a cause..."


Furlong's list of qualifications in the world of sport is impressively long.

After moving to Canada from Ireland in 1974, Furlong dived into large, ambitious projects from Prince George to Nanaimo.

His first job in Canada was at a Catholic high school in Prince George, where he had been hired to set up an athletic program. He was in his early 20s when he was recruited for the job and had a degree in physical education.

From there, Furlong went on to become the director of parks and recreation in Prince George and was later asked to help establish the B.C. Northern Games.

Three years after moving to Canada Furlong became the first president of the Northern Games Society, which led him to later postings as an official with the B.C. Games and the Canada Games.

Furlong moved to Nanaimo about 1980 and served as head of the parks and recreation department for eight years. He later moved to the Lower Mainland and became CEO of the Arbutus Club and acted as chair of Richmond General Hospital and the Richmond Health Alliance, among other things. He has been a trustee at Vancouver Community College and president of the Canadian Society of Club Management. He is a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and has been awarded the Darrel Thompson and Kaizan awards for service to sport in this province.

Most recently, he has been given the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame W.A.C. Bennett Award for significant contributions to sport in this province.

He was president and chief operating officer of the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corp., where he worked to bring the Games to the province.

Furlong has about seven years of experience with what Olympic types call the "file," by which they mean the hundreds of meetings, calculations, analyses, decisions and phone calls that went into the successful bid.

He admits he has a few weaknesses -- including his lack of French -- but said he will do his very best to hire a staff that can compensate for some of his shortfalls and ensure the 2010 Winter Games will be "spectacular.

He says that he will try to learn French, lol.

Furlong the best of the bunch even if he isn't perfect

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First step: Build supportive team

John Furlong will take a quick break to plan and regroup


Damian Inwood  

The Province  

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Vancouver's new Olympic chief says it's vital to build a team that's not going to burn out during the six-year marathon to 2010.

"We're all going to be really busy, but what I want to do is to build an organization that doesn't destroy people," Furlong said yesterday.

"We have to make the process a bit more bearable than it was during the bid phase, when it was all or nothing."

On a sunny weekend morning when it might be reasonable to expect Furlong to be relaxing, the $300,000 man was doing what he's done many times for the last seven years. He was giving an inspirational breakfast talk to a group of about 80 Canadian tennis coaches at Hollyburn Country Club.

"I had this terrible thought that you could be standing here looking at a winner or a terrible loser," Furlong wisecracked after his standing ovation.

About 16 hours earlier, after a cloak-and-dagger day of closed-door board meetings, Furlong was appointed CEO of Vancouver's 2010 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

It was the final twist in a three-month saga as the OCOG board split over his appointment and International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound announced that he thought Furlong wasn't qualified for the job.

Still, more than 15 OCOG board members, the required majority, voted for Furlong in a two-hour teleconference.

Furlong said he had a phone message after the vote from Pound, who identified himself as "Darth Vader."

Pound said he would support Furlong in his new job.

Furlong said he was "surprised and hurt" by Pound's comments but he praised the Montreal-based IOC member for his "classy" message.

"He hopes he will be standing there, at the end in 2010, taking back the words he used," said Furlong.

The 53-year-old Richmond father of five says he'll get down to work later this week after a two-day break to formulate his planning strategy.

"I'm hoping that in eight to 10 days I'll have the guts of a preliminary structure to share with the organizing committee," he said. "Then right after that, we'll get to work finding the players.

"If we can build a team with discipline and great people, maybe we can get to the end without being completely exhausted," added Furlong, who's been battling a sore back since winning the bid in Prague on July 2 of last year.

Furlong said that, ideally, he'd like to have the whole team standing beside him when the Olympic cauldron is lit around the dome at B.C. Place on Feb. 12, 2010.

"I'd like to think we'll all be there," he said, "that everyone who was there at the start is there at the end, that they'll enjoy it and savour the work and have everyone in the community feel like they weren't just spectators but players -- because there's nothing more special than that."

Furlong admits he hasn't been a very good husband for the past few months, as he's been working as the interim CEO of the OCOG.

He said he hid the newspaper containing Pound's damning comments from his wife, Gail.

"If I was asked for one thing, I would ask that the working experience of every person that decides to become a player in 2010 is an extraordinary one, that's it's been a life-changing experience, that they can take something from it to share with their families," he said.

"For me, I'll be retiring when it's over, and I'll be happy to, but many people will be building careers on this."

Furlong needs to get his plans in order before the IOC co-ordination commission, headed by Rene Fasel, comes to town for three days March 30.

He said he wants to set up an honest, open relationship with the IOC.

"I want to share our issues with the IOC so we don't tuck them under, they're on the table," he said. "We need to get them to the venues and hear what they have to say."

Furlong said that the IOC "thinks we're ahead of the curve and if we can stay ahead, I think we stand a good chance to protect our reputation.

"We cannot let our reputation deteriorate. We have to be seen as competent, caring, thoughtful, honest and open.

"If we take on water early on, it's hard to get it out of the boat."

He said its vital to get things right from Day 1.

"The big challenge for us is to try to get it right at the beginning, to aim at the target, and be efficient and be inspired," he said. "We need to not be tired and not look worn, to be fresh all the way along."

He said that when the bid team got to Prague for the IOC vote, members were "out on their feet."

"It's not reasonable to expect a team to go six years at that pace," he said.

"For me, the primary challenge is to create real teamwork where there's absolute loyalty to each other, where people hold hands and look out for each other and everyone moves at the same time.

"If it becomes about one or two people, it will be a real struggle."


Interview with John Furlong.

© Copyright 2004 The Province

First step: Build supportive team


Good Luck Furlong! God Speed 2010 VOCOG! :)

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  • 1 year later...
...i surely don't want anymore of my tax dollars to go into just one person's pocket...

Are you old enough to pay taxes???

6 more years until i do i think.

btw, Furlong is payed more than our Prime Minister, Premier, Mayor, and government ministers in the province and in the federal gov't. he makes as much as the BC Ferries CEO.

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That's a rather standard salary for a CEO.  The VP's are probably making about $250,000.  Cobb was probably making that at the Canucks.  Wilson probably got a pay hike by leaving Vancity.  Bagshaw probably took a pay cut when he left as Managing Partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, but he was retiring from the firm anyway.  Priestner Allinger has been involved with the Winter OCOG's for 2002 and 2006 and is probably in the same salary range.  Matheson was a senior engineer with Dominion Construction and probably got a bit of a hike.  McLaughlin and Wright were with the Bid Committee before VANOC was created - probably got increases but not massive ones.
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Congratulations to John and the team.  I think the continuity will do them well, plus McLaughlin was part of the Expo '86 team as well.  Should know a thing or two about pulling something this large off, with the massive amount of help any organization of this size will need.
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  • 7 months later...


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