All-Italian leadership at LEN as Minervini succeeds Frischknecht as executive director
Paulo Frischknecht has stepped down as executive director of LEN, aquatics' European governing body, after four years in the post, albeit he is set to remain as a consultant to the organisation.
The Portuguese administrator has been replaced by Italian Gianni Minervini, formerly LEN's office and finance manager.
LEN said it was a "decision of mutual consent" between Frischknecht (pictured left with Minervini) and LEN's Italian president Paolo Barelli.
However, LEN said it would be interested in keeping Frischknecht involved as a sports management consultant or special projects senior advisor, with the exact details of the role still to be finalised.
Barelli said: “LEN went through tremendous growth in recent years, it’s a joint success of the national federations, our great athletes, coaches, officials and the LEN leadership, the LEN bureau and the LEN office which has been headed by Mr. Frischknecht since 2013. Thanks to the joint efforts, Europe is maintaining its position as the most successful continent in the world of aquatics.”
Frischknecht, a former international swimmer and former president of the Portuguese Swimming Federation, was appointed LEN executive director in October 2013 as the successor to Laszlo Szakadati of Hungary, who had left the position by mutual consent.
Minervini is also a former international swimmer, having represented Italy at the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games. He won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 1986 FINA World Championships, following up with a bronze medal in the same event five years later.
After retirement, Minervini joined cosmetic giant Procter & Gamble, and was also the associate director of the organising committee of the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome. He joined LEN in November 2015.
He said: “I am fully determined and committed to do my best in this new position to ensure that the LEN member federations, European Aquatics and the LEN office continue to grow stronger and stronger and more and more successful globally.”