WSL Begins CEO Search After Erik Logan’s Exit
Logan’s departure is effective immediately, the WSL said.
A spokesperson for the organization on Friday declined to provide further details on the reason for Logan’s exit or timeline for an executive search, re-directing questions to the WSL announcement released Thursday and providing a statement to SES reiterating the executive changes.
“As the WSL begins the process of identifying a new CEO, Emily Hofer, WSL’s chief people and purpose officer, and Bob Kane, chief operating officer and chief legal officer, will jointly lead the company and continue to drive the WSL’s mission to showcase the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves as the global home of competitive surfing,” the WSL said in its statement to SES. “The WSL is confident in our leadership team and the company is well-positioned for continued success.”
News of Logan’s departure follows Wednesday’s announcement that the WSL inked a one-year deal with digital payments provider Wallex.US to serve as title sponsor of the annual event in Huntington Beach.
The partnership with Wallex follows the departure of Vans as title sponsor, which was confirmed earlier this year.
WSL’s Erik Logan Highlighted Accomplishments in Previous SES Interview
Logan came to the WSL in 2019 from The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), where he most recently served as president after a nearly five-year stint as co-president. Prior to OWN, he had been at Harpo Productions as executive vice president and later co-president.
Several changes were rolled out once Logan took the top spot at the WSL.
They included mid-season cuts for the men’s and women’s Championship Tour, resulting in reduced fields at the season’s midway point. A new one-day finals format was also introduced, where the top five surfers competed against one another.
More recently, the WSL restructured via layoffs in 2022.
The competition changes have been a boon to the business with increased viewership and sponsor revenue, Logan told SES in an interview published in October 2022.
“We are in the healthiest spot that we’ve ever been in from the league’s perspective,” the former CEO told SES. “The league is going to be sustainable for many, many years to come.”
Logan went on to say 2022 would be a record-breaking revenue year for professional surfing, in addition to signing a record number of partners and renewals as the league looked to continue a business model focused on advertising and sponsorships.
“We’re in a great position economically,” he told SES. “We believe that our best days are in front of us still and that’s awesome.”
Kari Hamanaka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.