Nicki Nicol has been named as the NZOC's new chief executive and secretary general ©LinkedIn

Nicki Nicol has replaced incumbent Kereyn Smith as New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) chief executive and secretary general, it has been announced.

Smith had held the role for 11 years but is replaced by Nicol, who arrives from New Zealand Rugby (NZ Rugby), where she most recently worked as chief transformation officer and chief financial officer.

Nicol also worked in senior executive roles at BP in Britain, New Zealand and Australia for nearly two decades, before joining NZ Rugby in 2017.

At NZ Rugby, she worked in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, leading the organisation's financial response, before leading the co-ordination and rebuilding of the body post-coronavirus as chief transformation officer.

"This unique and special role will draw on a blend of my professional and personal life experiences," said Nicol. 

"The New Zealand Team, Te Kapa o Aotearoa, has a fabulous reputation for its performances and successes and how it represents New Zealand.

"I look forward to working with the NZOC team, our partners and stakeholders to support New Zealand’s athletes to reach their potential."

NZOC President Mike Stanley added: "Nicki has had an outstanding career in New Zealand and overseas in multiple roles, most recently with New Zealand Rugby where she has been a highly respected member of the senior executive team.

"Nicki impressed with her diverse and highly successful commercial background, her proven leadership qualities and her strategic insights. 

"She has a deep passion for sport and respect for the Olympic movement and Commonwealth Games, and what they mean to New Zealanders and to our athletes."

Nicol is due to begin the role in March 2022.