Jacques Landry, CEO of Cycling New Zealand, has stepped down after three years in office.
His resignation comes amid an investigation into the sport and three months after the alleged suicide of Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore, who posted on social media about the pressures of competitive sport before her death.
Cycling NZ CEO Phil Holden said Landry made “a significant contribution” to cycling.
Landry first joined the organization in 2019 after 10 years as High Performance Director at Cycling Canada.
His arrival followed the 2018 Heron Review which found a “lack of accountability and sub-optimal leadership”, “bullying cases” and a “dysfunctional” culture in cycling. In the 83-page 2018 review, Heron made 11 recommendations, including several related to athlete welfare.
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Landry was brought in to implement his recommendations and oversee the establishment of the Athletes’ Voice Committee and the new Code of Conduct. The implementation of the Heron Review forms the basis of the independent investigation currently being carried out by a body appointed by Cycling New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand.
The panel includes Heron, senior sports scientist Sarah Leberman, former Silver Fern Lesley Nicol, and Rio Olympic silver medalist Genevieve Macky.
“Mr. Landry personally exemplified the values we strive for. He is well respected with Cycling New Zealand and the wider cycling community and has deepened relationships with our four member organizations, sponsors and funding partners, ”said Holden.
“Under his supervision, Cycling New Zealand also completed its 2021-28 High Performance Strategic Plan, established an overarching strategic plan and initiated other important changes, including the integration of Para Cycling into the organization.”
Holden said Landry announced his departure in June but has stayed until now to help set up the independent investigation.
“He has not been able to leave the country to visit his family abroad for over two years because the process of reviewing his application for residence is constantly being delayed and there is absolutely no certainty when the situation will be resolved. For his own personal well-being and that of his family, Mr. Landry made the difficult decision to leave and we fully support him. “
Landry will remain available to the investigative committee even after he leaves the organization, said Holden. He also said the board had worked closely with Mr. Landry during the transition.
“A replacement is now being sought and the organization’s chief operating officer will in the meantime manage day-to-day operations.”
Sport New Zealand executive director Raelene Castle said it was disappointing to learn of Landry’s resignation but understood the reasons for it.
“The difficulties and challenges of being separated from family and friends for such a long period of time due to the pandemic should not be underestimated,” she said.
“Sport NZ would like to thank Jacques for his contribution and his commitment to cycling over the past three years and wish him all the best for his return home and for the future.”