French skiing head Vion appointed FIS secretary general
Michel Vion has been named as the new secretary general of FIS, the international ski federation.
The appointment of Vion, until now the president of the French Ski Association, was unanimously approved by the FIS council at a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
The move follows the recent election of Johan Eliasch of Sweden as the new president of the FIS.
Vion has been head of the French association since 2010 and a member of the FIS council since 2004, but is to relinquish both positions in order to focus on his new job.
Vion is taking up a role previously filled for 20 years by the UK’s Sarah Lewis.
She was ousted last October, and replaced by Philippe Gueisbuhler, in the role of director.
Before moving into skiing administration, Vion was a top-class ski racer, being crowned as world champion in the combined discipline in 1982, and finishing on the podium three times in World Cup events.
He said yesterday: “I am very honoured and humbled that the FIS council had the confidence to appoint me as the new FIS secretary general. It is a very exciting time to take over this role as our president had many innovative, cutting-edge plans to ensure FIS will have a bright future.”
Eliasch added: “Michael brings the perfect combination of leadership skills and expertise of our sport to the role of FIS secretary general. FIS is truly fortunate to have an individual of his calibre to come on board and lead the daily operations as we take the next steps into the future of the FIS.”
Billionaire Eliasch, best known as the chief executive of sports equipment brand Head, a role he is now vacating, was this month elected to succeed the long-serving Gian Franco Kasper as president of the FIS, seeing off challenges from Urs Lehmann of Switzerland, Lewis and fellow Swede Mats Arjes.
He will initially serve out the remainder of Kasper’s term, to 2022.
In other developments at this week’s meeting, Roman Kumpost of the Czech Republic, Aki Murasato of Japan, Dexter Paine of the USA and Peter Schroecksnadel of Austria were installed as vice presidents, and Arjes as treasurer.
Eliasch has pledged to bring change to skiing, with more television-friendly formats to increase viewership and revenue, and pursue a more integrated approach to the marketing of commercial rights, which in many cases are sold via national federations, while increasing female representation at the FIS.
The federation will hold an online extraordinary congress on 22 September to address various changes to the statutes.