William Louis-Marie has resigned with immediate effect from his role as director of communcations for the Baku 2015 European Games for "personal reasons" it was announced today, with only 85 days to go until the Games start.
"I regret that due to personal reasons I am unable to complete this journey with the entire amazing BEGOC (Baku European Games Operation Committee) team," said Louis-Marie, who joined Baku2015 in May 2014 from Trace TV, where he held the position of senior vice-president.
"I have greatly enjoyed working in Baku, and I have every confidence that the Baku 2015 European Games will be a great success."
Simon Clegg, chief operating officer of Baku 2015, said: "William has made a great contribution to Baku 2015 in establishing the structure of the media operation for the inaugural European Games and leading our communications outreach.
"We thank him for his input and commitment, and wish him well in the future."
Louis-Marie also worked on the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and the France 1998 World Cup as Communications Manager for Coca-Cola France.
The ebullient Frenchman appeared full of energy at a breakfast briefing on Wednesday morning, during which he spoke enthusiastically about the Baku 2015 beach football event following the recent draw, and he was working in the office as normal later in the day.
The news, which emerged when most Azerbaijani members of Baku 2015 had begun their traditional 10-day holiday for the Novruz celebrations, came as a shock to many of Louis-Marie's colleagues.
Colin Gibson, Baku 2015's deputy director of communications, has been appointed acting director.
The Briton, a former sports editor with The Sunday Telegraph and The Daily Mail, has worked as head of communications for the English Football Association, the International Cricket Council and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2015: Former Football Association communications director joins Baku 2015
May 2015: Baku 2015 unveil Frenchman as new director of communication