WTA CEO Steve Simon's future confirmed after harsh player criticism in Cancun

Simon receiving some pretty harsh criticism over the organization of the WTA Finals in Cancun.

by Dzevad Mesic
WTA CEO Steve Simon's future confirmed after harsh player criticism in Cancun
© Getty Images Sport - Matthew Stockman

Steve Simon has stepped down from his CEO position at the WTA but will continue working with the organization as executive chairman. In 2015, Simon replaced Stacey Allaster as the WTA CEO. Throughout this year, Simon and the WTA leaderboard were hearing criticism from the players.

During the WTA Finals, the criticism directed at the WTA only intensified as the players and fans thought that the organization did a very poor job of organizing the prestigious season-ending tournament. After everything that happened in Cancun, there were public calls for Simon to resign.

On Tuesday, the WTA announced an organizational restructuring and Simon - who was appointed as the WTA CEO in 2015 - is stepping down from his current position.

The WTA announces Simon won't continue as CEO

"The WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) is moving forward with its strategic plan for the growth of women’s tennis with a further revision to its structure.

The revised structure will separate the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to allow greater focus on the WTA’s mission and goals and will bring on an additional new leader to assume the CEO role. The CEO will be charged with responsibility for managing and growing the operations of the WTA and its many initiatives.

The WTA has begun a comprehensive selection process for the CEO position, supported by the global executive search firm Korn Ferry. Once the position of CEO has been filled, Steve Simon, currently Chairman and CEO of the WTA, will assume the role of Executive Chairman.

In this role, Simon will focus on governance, strategic interests of the WTA within the sport, integrity issues and the development of new markets and frontiers for the WTA. In addition to his designated role as Executive Chairman of the WTA, Simon continues to serve as Chair of the WTA Ventures Board," the WTA said in a statement.

In his statement, Simon claimed that him resigning from his current role has nothing to do with what happened during the WTA Finals. "We started these discussions [about changing the WTA leadership structure] in the summertime, so they're not tied to anything that happened in Cancun or ... the perception that it hasn't been the easiest of years," Simon said.

Steve Simon Wta Finals