ACOG Closing Up Shop Olympic Committee Completes Mission

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Call it the ultimate in corporate downsizing: A $1.7

billion downtown employer that will suddenly vanish within a

year.

But unlike other down-spiraling companies, this one isn't

hustling to turn around a sales slump or re-tool the product.

It's fire sale time at the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic

Games and everything, 600 employees included, must go.

"There's a big letdown. It's kind of sad," said Doris

Isaacs-Stallworth, the committee's managing director for

personnel, a 3 1/2-year veteran who will be among the last to

depart.

"While people are very happy and proud we completed a

successful event, they build relationships that are now coming

to an end," said Isaacs-Stallworth. "Because of the unique

objective everybody was working toward, there was a unique type

of bonding. It's kind of sad when you see the furniture being

taken away."

At one time the home of 4,000 paid employees, the committee is

down to a virtual skeleton crew. By the end of September, the

work force will stand at about 400, with fewer than half of them

left at year's end.

The two floors the committee still occupies in a downtown

office building percolate with a different type of activity,

lacking some of the formality and the breakneck pace of

pre-Olympic preparations. Still, formidable jobs remain:

Converting the oval-shaped Olympic stadium into a 48,000-seat

circular ballpark for the Atlanta Braves, which will require

demolishing about half the current structure and then putting

the pieces back together.

Publishing a multi-volume final report to the International

Olympic Committee, a detailed history of the Atlanta Games that

will serve as a guide for future Olympic organizers. Atlanta's

report will be sold to the public for the first time, one final

moneymaker for the most marketed Games ever.

Squaring revenues with expenses, and deciding what to do with

any leftover money, with a permanent Olympic museum among the

suggested uses.

The committee is negotiating with NBC-TV on a $15-million-plus

payment as Atlanta's share of a windfall of unexpected ad sales.

Final payments from food vendors remain to be settled, and the

committee also expects millions more from post-Games souvenir

sales and the sale of "intellectual property" such as mailing

lists.

The man in charge of dismantling the Olympics is Patrick

Glisson, a former Atlanta city finance director, who was part of

Billy Payne's Olympic bid team and one of the Olympic

committee's first hires.

He expects the job to take at least nine more months, with the

final report, the last task to be completed, not ready until the

end of 1997.

"We are on what I would call an orderly glide path down," said

Glisson, who, like Isaacs-Stallworth, said he has no job lined

up.

One of the biggest headaches has been recovering cellular

phones, beepers and even automobiles from the thousands of

employees who leave, then bargaining with Olympic sponsors over

who'll pay for damaged or missing property. …