The Board of Directors of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) today announced its unanimous decision naming Steve Simon, the Tournament Director and Chief Operating Officer of the BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells Tennis Tournament, as the new CEO of the women’s tour.
“Steve Simon, with his successful career leading one of tennis’ most prestigious tournaments, is the perfect person to run the WTA,” the Board said in a statement. “Steve produced results, pursued excellence and he kept innovating, making the fan experience even better. He has a very clear vision for the sport and is held in high regard by all.”
Simon has run the Indian Wells tournament since 2004. Outside of the Grand Slams, it has become the largest two-week combined tournament and is the most attended WTA and ATP World Tour tennis tournament in the world.
“I am humbled and at the same time very excited about the opportunity that has been presented to me by the Board,” Simon said. “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.”
“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.”
“When I returned to Indian Wells this year, Steve could not have been more helpful, professional and supportive,” said Williams. “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.”
“Steve is a strong leader and someone who thinks big about our sport,” said Sharapova. “Every year, Indian Wells gets more innovative and better. I’m glad to see him become our CEO.”
“He knows what fans want and he does a great job helping the players too,” said Wozniacki. “He has the right business skills, player relationships and smarts to run this tour. The tour is already very successful and I’m sure it will be even more so now. I think he and Micky Lawler will make a great mixed doubles team.”
Simon will begin his duties immediately as he also winds down his role at Indian Wells. It is anticipated he will be fulltime with the WTA effective November 30, 2015.
Simon is also a former collegiate tennis player and competed in 1981 in the Mixed Doubles at Wimbledon.