Johan Eliasch is New President of the International Ski Federation
4th June 2021
Last modified on December 30th, 2021
The Swede won with a comfortable majority in the first round. He took 65 of the 120 votes available. His nearest rival had 26 votes. He said he was “humbled to be chosen”.
Johan Eliasch is the billionaire CEO of Head and will now step aside from the roll as he takes on his new position at FIS.
The decision was made at an online Congress.
Johan Eliasch – 65
Urs Lehmann – 26
Sarah Lewis – 15
Mats Arjes – 13
“I am humbled to be chosen as your new President,” he said in his acceptance speech.
“We have incredible opportunities and now lets get to work”.
“I will be engaged, open-minded and transparent and a president that represents all nations and all disciplines,” he added.
We previewed the election in this earlier article on PlanetSKI.
Johan Eliasch has spent many years working in the sports manufacturing industry, having previously worked in the private equity industry.
He acquired the Austrian sporting goods company HEAD 25 years ago.
Beyond the sporting world, Eliasch has become a leading expert on solutions to issues caused by climate change, advising the UK Government on Deforestation and Clean Energy.
In 2005, he created the Rainforest Trust, and in 2006, he co-founded Cool Earth.
He has advised British Prime Ministers, and Shadow ministers, and currently is President of the political think tank, Global Strategy Forum.
He has a long list of business interests and has served as director on several boards, including the British Olympic Association.
He lives in London.
GB Snowsport backed him and he had the support of ski racers Lindsey Vonn, Hermann Maier and Aksel Lund Svindal.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also supported him as the 59-year-old Swede worked with Mr Johnson during his time as Mayor of London.
He had the endorsement from former US Secretary of State John Kerry who is now working on climate change issues.
Mr Eliasch has said he will not take a salary to run FIS.
His commercial ties still raised questions of potential conflicts of interest.
He replaces 77-year old Gian-Franco Kasper who has stepped down after 23 years in charge of the International Ski Federation.
Gian-Franco Kasper was unable to attend the Congress after being taken to hospital with breathing problems, he is now out of intensive care.
In his acceptance speech Mr Eliasch paid “special thanks to Gian-Franco and his incredible service”.
GB’s Sarah Lewis has offered her reaction.
As an Olympian and global sports leader it’s been an honour to serve FIS. Understanding our global landscape is what I do. As I pursue exciting projects in global sport, I will continue to do just this – watch this space! https://t.co/Z9XTRLTAp7 #sportsbiz #sports #futureisnow pic.twitter.com/B09djlasdJ
— Sarah Lewis, OBE OLY (@SarahLewis_OBE) June 4, 2021
The new president said he would be championing new media and technology formats that are already used in other sports.
He has promised more resources for social media, content production, digital media and sports marketing.
He also wants to introduce limits to how long senior officials can remain in their posts.
FIS has only seen four Presidents in its 97-year history.