WTA Hires Simon As CEO

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Steve Simon WTA Tennis NewsThe WTA’s board of directors vowed to act quickly to find a replacement for outgoing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stacey Allaster and they were as good as their word with the appointment of highly respected Steve Simon.

Just three days after Allaster officially vacated her office at the WTA’s St Petersburg headquarters, the women’s tour announced they had lured the 60 year-old grandfather who had been tournament director and chief operations officer of the BNP Paribas Masters at Indian Wells since 2004.

Simon’s organizational skills, allied to the financial backing and energy of tournament owner Larry Ellison, has turned the Californian tournament into the most prestigious in the world outside of the four Grand Slam events.

Obviously high in Simon’s curriculum vitae and credentials for the job would have been the fact he was integral in the persuasion of Serena Williams to return earlier this year to the tournament she and her sister Venus vowed they would never play again.

“The WTA board called me a couple days after Stacey Allaster decided to step back and asked me if I would consider it,” revealed Simon. “It humbled me to be asked and I said I’d like to take a shot at it because I think it’s a unique opportunity to be provided a platform to maybe improve the game, the sport and the business and take it to new places. You don’t get that opportunity very often.

“I certainly didn’t want to regret not taking it. There are no guarantees it will be successful, but you don’t get an opportunity like this very often. I decided to jump on it and I’m very much looking forward to getting to work.”

In a statement released on his appointment, Simon added: “I am humbled and at the same time very excited about the opportunity that has been presented to me by the Board. I will be focused on building upon the successful platforms that have been put in place by my predecessors, Stacey Allaster and Larry Scott, with a sole focus on driving excellence and innovation, while creating a premium experience for the fans.”

According to an official statement from the WTA board, Simon was viewed as the perfect candidate for the post. “Steve produced results, pursued excellence and he kept innovating, making the fan experience even better,” it read. “He has a very clear vision for the sport and is held in high regard by all.”

Williams, who will be absent from the WTA scene for the remainder of 2015, led the praise for the appointment. “When I returned to Indian Wells this year, Steve could not have been more helpful, professional and supportive,” said the world no.1. “I know how much he cares about the opinions of the players. He’s a good listener and he has our best interests in mind.”

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.