Stephanie Streeter earned about $1 million as acting chief executive officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee in 2009, according to tax reports filed by the federation.
The annual report recorded Streeter’s compensation as $1.006 million for 2009, which included $960,000 in salary and bonuses and $46,000 in benefits. The man she replaced, Jim Scherr, received $801,000, though that included a year of severance pay after he resigned in March 2009.
Streeter took Scherr’s place, then in October announced she would not seek the job on a permanent basis. She was replaced in January by Scott Blackmun, who agreed to take the job for $450,000 a year.
Streeter’s unexpected rise to CEO caused a major rift within Olympic circles, and when news of her salary went public – $380,000 more than Scherr received in 2008 – it sparked another round of complaints.
Chairman of the board Larry Probst defended the salary as being in line with what the CEO of a complex, multimillion-dollar company would make. He said Streeter, who had extensive experience in the corporate world, was worth it.
Detractors said it was hard to justify that kind of salary in the USOC’s nonprofit world, especially during an economic downturn in which the federation was struggling to hold onto sponsors. They also questioned whether she was worthy of the job, or the lofty salary. Streeter’s tenure brought on a period of instability that was widely blamed for Chicago’s embarrassing fourth-place finish in the race to host the 2016 Olympics.
According to the report, the USOC brought in more than $123 million in 2009, $35.5 million of which was spent on employee salaries. Early last year, the USOC cut 54 jobs to save $7.1 million from the 2009 budget.
The tax return lists salaries of the federation’s officers and “key” employees. After Streeter and Scherr, there were chief operating officer Norm Bellingham ($534,000 in total compensation) and former communications chief Darryl Seibel ($373,000 total compensation). Seibel stepped down in June, but the USOC agreed to pay him for the entire year.