WTA names new CEO

Updated: 2015-10-06 16:38

By Sun Xiaochen(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Steve Simon, tournament director and chief operating officer of the BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, has been named CEO of the women's tour.

His appointment comes just weeks after Stacey Allaster stepped down as CEO of the Women's Tennis Association, saying her family takes priority.

During Allaster's tenure, women's professional tennis enjoyed a surge in China with five more International-plus level WTA tournaments to be held from next year than in 2012.

The WTA Board said Simon is the perfect person to run the WTA. He has run Indian Wells since 2004 and, outside of the Grand Slams, it has become the largest two-week combined and the best-attended WTA/ATP World Tour tournament.

"I am very excited by the opportunity that has been presented to me," Simon said. "I will be focused on building upon the successful platforms that have been put in place by my predecessors with a focus on driving excellence and innovation, while creating a premium experience for the fans".

"Steve Simon is the right person for the job," said WTA founder Billie Jean King. "His track record is marked by success. He is thoughtful, respectful and he has excellent business judgment".

Elite women players also credited the new CEO for his contribution to the game.

"When I returned to Indian Wells this year, Steve could not have been more helpful, professional and supportive," said world No 1 Serena Williams of the United States. "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".

That view was echoed by Russian star Maria Sharapova. "Steve is a strong leader and someone who thinks big about our sport. Every year, Indian Wells gets more innovative and better. I'm glad to see him become our CEO," she said.

Simon takes up his duties immediately and will be full time with the WTA from Nov 30.

He is a former collegiate player and competed in mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 1981.