March 24, 2009

Larry Scott, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour since 2003, is stepping down to take the job as commissioner of the NCAA's Pac 10 athletics conference, multiple sources have told

The WTA joins the ATP and USTA as the third tennis body to lose its CEO in the last six months.

"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," Scott said in a statement.

Scott became the CEO of the WTA in 2003, after having been ATP chief operating officer and president of ATP Properties. Under his watch, the WTA pushed for -- and got -- equal prize money for women at Wimbledon and the French Open.

Under Scott, the tour says it has seen a 500-percent increase in sponsorship revenue, a 250-percent increase in overall revenues, a 40-percent increase in prize money and $710 million in new stadium investments.

He helped the tour land the largest sponsorship deal in the history of women's sports with Sony Ericsson at $88 million over six years. The announcement of his resignation came on the eve of the start of the Sony Ericsson Open on Key Biscayne.

"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.

Scott helped the tour change its calendar and rules to shorten the season and lessen the strain on players, and it landed the largest deal ever for the year-end championships in Doha, Qatar in 2008-10. Innovations under Scott included electronic line calling, on-court coaching, pre-match players interviews, interviews with coaches during matches and a new doubles scoring format.

He will take over at the Pac-10 conference on July 1.

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