LONDON: Organisers of London’s staging of the  2017 World Athletics Championships have starting to fill the vacancies created by the flight of an assortment of former senior executives.

Sir Robin Young, who headed the Department for Media, Culture and Sport as Permanent Secretary between 1998 and 2001 and the Department for Trade and Industry from 2001 to 2005, has been appointed co-chair alongside Ed Warner.

New non-executive directors are David Armstrong (chief executive of English Premiership rugby union club Wasps), Simon Bazalgette, (group chief executive of The Jockey Club), Liz McMahon (managing director of property company Madison Muir) and Vinai Venkatesham (chief commercial officer at Arsenal).

Young said: “Great sporting events have a huge impact on the national psyche and this will be the case again next year when London hosts two back-to-back Athletics World Championships.

“We saw in London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 how the public embrace athletics championships and this will be a phenomenal event in a superb venue. I am looking forward to working with Ed Warner and the rest of the 2017 board to ensure we stage a successful summer of World Athletics.

“The partners have come together to recruit the highest possible calibre Board who are united behind agreed governance structures, budgets and operating plans.”

Last month Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson became the fourth person to resign from the board. In early February managing director Sally Bolton stepped down just days after deputy chair Heather Hancock and audit committee chair Martin Stewart resigned from the board.

More recently London 2017 appointed an independent board to take responsibility for the event and named Cherry Alexander as its new managing director.

Warner said: ‘I am delighted that we have attracted such excellent Non-Executive Directors. This is a Board that can take strategic decisions in an atmosphere of collaboration behind the clear common goal of staging the best ever World Championships’