The WTA and Women’s Tennis Struggle With Challenges to Their Reputation
When I visited the WTA offices in Los Angeles last week, I noticed that the glass-paneled conference room had not been painted since the 1970s, and that the original carpeting had been replaced with some kind of hardwood that could be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. I asked a receptionist about the changes, and she told me that many of the female staffers who used to report into WTA offices would now have to report directly to the head of tennis operations, Rob du Preez. She told me that she would tell me more about those changes once I got to the bottom of the hill to see the players.
WTA head Rob du Preez
The WTA released a statement on their website Monday night indicating that Rob had been appointed to serve in an acting capacity as the CEO of the WTA until an appointment can be made to serve as CEO of the WTA itself. It stated that Rob had held the position of CEO of the WTA in its interim capacity for a few months after the sudden death in March of chairman Larry Flynt. “It is our hope, in conjunction with the search committee established by WTA [Commissioner] Dr. Lorraine Jobe,” the statement said, “that the search committee can come up with a thoughtful choice and an experienced leader with a passion for the WTA.”
The statement continued:
From now on the search for the next CEO and chair of the WTA will be conducted by WTA, with the head of tennis operations serving as interim CEO until a more permanent appointee can be made. WTA’s Board of Directors has approved a transition plan for Rob in consultation with our Search Committee. Rob is working to address concerns and inquiries in his interim role while his selection is being considered by the WTA Board of Directors.
In his interim role, Rob has had limited involvement with the day-to-day operation of the WTA, and there will be no change in this role. The search committee remains firmly in charge of the search process. Rob is the only person with any knowledge of the operation of tennis operations at the top level at the WTA. While he will remain available to our board and other stakeholders to respond to their concerns and inquiries, he will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the WTA. Since the recent departure of Larry Fly