WTA announces major leadership change after player criticism

Steve Simon has vacated the CEO position

Sports Staff
Tuesday 12 December 2023 13:24 GMT
Steve Simon will stay with the WTA but is no longer CEO
Steve Simon will stay with the WTA but is no longer CEO (Getty Images)

The WTA has announced a restructure that will see chairman and chief executive Steve Simon vacate the latter role.

Simon is to stay on at the organisation, becoming executive chairman once a new CEO has been appointed.

The WTA came under criticism with regard to the recent WTA Finals in Cancun, with world number two Aryna Sabalenka saying she felt “really disrespected”, adding: “I think most of us do. This is not the level of organisation we expect for the Finals.”

There was further criticism from Martina Navratilova, with the 18-time grand slam singles champion saying following the WTA Finals in Cancun that it was time for a woman to take charge of the WTA.

Earlier this year, the WTA announced a strategic partnership with CVC Capital Partners and the creation of a new commercial division, WTA Ventures, the board of which Simon serves on as chair.

In its statement on the restructure on Tuesday, the WTA said “the changes have been developed with the WTA and WTA Ventures boards since the summer”.

It said the new structure would help it “secure its objectives of growing the game and delivering equal prize money for women by 2033”.

Simon said: “Following investment from CVC Capital Partners and the creation of WTA Ventures earlier this year, we are now moving ahead and implementing further change to ensure the WTA is well positioned for future opportunities.

“WTA Ventures is achieving significant progress under the leadership of CEO Marina Storti and we are looking to replicate this model by bringing in additional operational expertise for the Hologic WTA Tour.

“By putting in place additional leadership capability and capacity, we are getting ready to accelerate the development of women’s tennis as the WTA moves beyond its 50th year.”

Micky Lawler, who has served as president of the WTA since 2015, has decided to leave the organisation at the end of the year to pursue new opportunities.

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