The Women's Tennis Association has named Steve Simon as its new chair and CEO, the WTA announced Monday.
Simon, who has served as the tournament director for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells since 2004, will take over for former CEO Stacey Allaster, who stepped down in September citing personal reasons. Allaster has led the WTA since 2009, and that year was named by Forbes Magazine as “one of the most powerful women in sports.”
Simon will step into the WTA role after guiding the BNP Paribas Open through significant growth over the past decade. Attendance for the event has increased every year since 2006, and more than 456,000 people attended the 2015 tournament, the highest number of any tennis event in the world outside of the four majors. Simon was also a key figure in selling the tournament and event grounds to billionaire Larry Ellison, who funded the construction of a second stadium in 2013 and recently announced another expansion set for 2017.
Simon will begin in his new role immediately while simultaneously fulfilling his responsibilities with Indian Wells, and he will join the WTA full-time at the end of November.
“I am humbled and at the same time very excited about the opportunity that has been presented to me by the Board,” Simon said in a statement. “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.”
- Jeremy Layton