Jean-Claude Falciola, the Federation Equestre Internationale’s interim secretary-general, has resigned from his position, as of today, May 12. According to an announcement from the FEI, Falciola announced his decision after meeting the HRH Princess Haya, who just a week earlier took over as the new FEI president, and Sven Holmberg, the FEI first vice president.
Michael Stone, FEI sports director, will assume the position as acting secretary-general while continuing his responsibilities as sports director, until FEI officials make a permanent appointment. Falciola reportedly will remain available to the end of May to allow a smooth transition.
FEI officials said that the selection process for a permanent FEI secretary-general will begin immediately and that they hope to name the individual in early September, after the FEI World Equestrian Games.
Falciola took the position as interim secretary-general in September 2005, succeeding Bo Helander. Falciola was hired to manage the FEI’s day-to-day business and to prepare for a seamless handover to a permanent secretary-general.
At the FEI Executive Board meeting held after the May 1-3 General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, board members decided to move the organization forward more quickly. The board members believed that, although Falciola’s appointment had been a sensible choice at the time, the election of a new FEI President and Bureau meant a new direction. They also confirmed that the permanent secretary-general should have a sound working knowledge of the equestrian industry and the national federations that make up the FEI.
“Jean-Claude has provided a level of stability in a particularly delicate period of flux for the FEI, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his valuable contribution,” said Princess Haya. “We now need an FEI leader with a solid knowledge of the equine and sports industry. With Michael Stone taking up the acting position, we believe that we can keep the momentum of change going while actively seeking the man or woman who will help fulfill the aspirations laid out in my election manifesto.”