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The pair of corporate executives who led Salt Lake City's successful bid for the 2002 Winter Games should stay in charge, top-level Olympic trustees announced Fri-day.

That recommendation, by the executive committee of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee board of trustees, comes after weeks of speculation that the roles of Tom Welch and Frank Joklik would change significantly.But in a closed-door meeting Thursday, executive committee members decided Welch should continue as president and chief executive officer, while Joklik should stay chairman of the board of trustees.

Welch and Joklik, who repeatedly dismissed talk about conflict between them, said they welcomed the announcement. Both said the executive committee's recommendation proved they worked well together.

"What this was, was a vote of confidence" in the organization, Welch said. "I think I was always comfortable with what the outcome would be. It's nice that it's over."

Joklik said the executive committee "would have been remiss" not to have discussed whether changes should be made but that "once it came under the looking glass, the answer was, `no.' "

As before, Welch reports to the board of trustees through Joklik, chairman of both the board and the executive committee. Joklik said while he may get an office in the organizing committee headquarters, he won't be there every day.

Trustees are expected to keep a closer watch over the day-to-day operations of the privately funded organizing committee, which anticipates spending $800 million to stage the 2002 Winter Games.

Just last month, the trustees made the decision to put the last major Olympic venue in West Valley City after the executive committee held several lengthy closed-door meetings on the project.

The entire board of trustees is scheduled to meet Sept. 14 to make official the decision on Welsh and Joklik. They will also be asked to name Dave Johnson to one of two senior vice-president posts.

Salaries haven't been determined. The executive committee is expected to hire a management company soon to help set pay scales for these and other positions, including administrative assistants and financial officers.

Welch and Joklik were both unpaid volunteers during the bid effort and Johnson earned $137,500 last year as bid committee vice president, according to documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Welch, who has served as head of the bid since 1985, gave up a lucrative job as vice president and corporate counsel for Smith's Food and Drug nearly six years ago to campaign for the Winter Games full-time.

Joklik has been chairman of the board of trustees since it was created in 1991 to oversee the bid committee. He retired as president and chief executive officer of Kennecott Corp. in 1993.

Other members of the executive committee are Spence Eccles, chairman and chief executive officer of First Security Corp., and Verl Topham, senior vice president and general counsel for PacifiCorp.

When Salt Lake City was selected to host the 2002 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee last June, the bylaws of the board of trustees called for six new positions to be filled on the executive committee.

Gov. Mike Leavitt appointed former House Speaker Nolan Karras, an investment counselor, to the executive committee, and Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini named Michael Danielson, city community and economic development director.

Anita DeFrantz and James Easton, the IOC members from the United States, as well as the top two officials of the U.S. Olympic Committee, also became members of the executive committee.