If it’s an April Fools joke it’s a week early, but still a good one.
The WTA Tour announced this afternoon that CEO Larry Scott is stepping down from his position — to become commissioner of the NCAA’s PAC-10 Conference.
The move will become effective July 1, 2009. Scott will work with the tour board on the selection process for the next chairman and CEO.
“With women’s professional tennis more popular than ever, the tour in the strongest business position in its history and a fantastic senior management team in place, now is the right time for me to embrace a new challenge consistent with my family and personal goals, and leave room for the next generation of tour leadership to take on new responsibilities,” Scott said.
During his six year tenure as chairman and CEO, Scott is credited with engineering a turnaround for women’s tennis, attracting the milestone Sony Ericsson sponsorship.
“Under Larry’s leadership, the tour and our sport have grown over the past six years beyond anyone’s wildest expectations,” said Steve Simon, tournament board representative and chairman of the tournament council.
Achievements under Scott included passage of the tour’s Roadmap plan, equal prize money at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, signing of the largest sponsorship deal in the history of women’s sport and professional tennis with Sony Ericsson at $88 million over 6 years, and a 500% increase in sponsorship revenues and a 40% increase in prize money and $710 million in new stadium investments.
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