J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press
Kerry Perry has stepped down as CEO of USA Gymnastics on Tuesday after just nine months in the position.
“I am writing to tell you that USA Gymnastics President and CEO Kerry Perry informed our Board of Directors last night that she will resign effective immediately,” chair of the USA Gymnastics board Karen Golz said in a statement. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Kerry for her leadership under very difficult circumstances.
“As you know, USA Gymnastics has been in the midst of a difficult and painful transition to ensure that the safety and interests of our athletes remain at the heart of our mission. While much as been accomplished over the past several months to stabilize the organization, we still face tremendous challenges as we all work to achieve fundamental changes to move our sport forward.
“We look forward to bringing in new leadership to build on the progress to date, and the board will immediately begin the search for an interim CEO. In the meantime, it has established a management committee to provide organizational oversight to maintain continuity in the day-to-day operations until an interim CEO is named.”
According to Scott M. Reid of the Orange County Register, the United States Olympic Committee pressured Perry into resigning “after a series of high-profile missteps.”
Per Reid, Perry’s ouster is the result of backlash for her not reaching out to survivors of former USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse.
There is reportedly a belief that she was more focused on public relations, given her background in sports marketing.
Having already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges, Nassar received 40 to 175 years in prison in January after pleading guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
He was later sentenced to another 40 to 125 years in prison on an additional three counts.
Perry replaced Steve Penny as USA Gymnastics CEO in December after Penny was pressured to resign amid the bevy of charges against Nassar.
Her departure is the latest link in a recent chain of upheaval within USA Gymnastics.
Mary Lee Tracy resigned from the position of elite development coordinator last week just three days after being hired. She was asked to step down after attempting to contact Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, who was critical of Tracy for supporting Nassar in the past.
According to Reid, the Tracy debacle was the “last straw” in a long line of missteps that led to Perry’s departure.