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Category: Associations & Organizations - Company: ATP
De Villiers to Expand Role to Full-Time with ATP
ATP Board appoints de Villiers Executive Chairman/President
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alison S. Kim
01/18/06 - Melbourne, Australia—The ATP Board has asked Chairman Etienne de Villiers to expand his role with the ATP, assuming broader and full-time responsibilities with the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuit. De Villiers accepted the position of non-executive Chairman in June, but his active and effective role with the organization prompted the change by the Board.
“I have truly enjoyed my close involvement and interaction with the ATP Board, players, tournament directors and the ATP senior management team,” de Villiers said. “I’ve been hands on from the beginning to learn more about the ATP and tennis, and what I’ve learned is that I can be more effective if I’m more actively involved. I’m obviously honored that the Board took this step, and I will not let them down.”
The ATP Board—comprised of de Villiers, tournament representatives Patrice Dominguez (Europe), Charlie Pasarell (Americas) and Graham Pearce (International), and player representatives Jacco Eltingh (Europe), Iggy Jovanovic (International) and Perry Rogers (Americas)—made the decision during the Board meetings in Melbourne.
Said ATP World No. 1 Roger Federer: “I met Etienne for the first time at Wimbledon last year and we have spoken on a number of occasions. I like that he has new visions for our sport and that he can bring his past experiences to help grow tennis globally.” Added Lleyton Hewitt in Melbourne: “[De Villiers] is a massive step in the right direction. I think he has got the right outlook and he’s got the right interests at heart as well.”
The ATP Board also named Philip “Flip” Galloway, the ATP’s Chief Financial Officer who was serving as interim Chief Operating Officer, to the COO position full-time. Galloway will work with de Villiers; Richard Davies, CEO ATP Properties; and several other executives in a new head ATP office in London. The office likely will be located in Roehampton, where the International Tennis Federation (ITF) is based and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has its European headquarters.
“Etienne’s leadership is essential for the ATP as we embark on a new direction for this game,” said Rogers, Andre Agassi’s long-time manager who assumed his ATP post at the conclusion of 2005. “He was hired last year based on his previous experience at Disney and elsewhere. We have decided to expand his role to full-time because of the immediate positive impact and boost that he has provided this organization over the past six months.” Added Pasarell, whose tenure on the Board dates back to 1990: “Etienne’s a charismatic businessman who’s all about building a great team and inspiring them to perform at a high level. That’s what we need right now, and I’m glad he’s willing to do what’s needed to make it happen.”
The Board initially planned to hire a Chairman and CEO to replace outgoing CEO Mark Miles, who retired at the end of 2005. Instead, de Villiers will oversee a small office of ATP executives in London and work with regional CEOs in the three ATP offices in Monte-Carlo, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and Sydney. Those three CEOs will be Brad Drewett (International), Horst Klosterkemper (Europe) and the newly appointed Mark Young (Americas), who will continue to serve as the ATP General Counsel.
“The new structure and Flip’s revised role allows me to keep focused on strategy and Board governance and allows me to maintain my independence, which were the key determinants in the previously made decision to separate the Chairman and CEO roles,” said de Villiers. “The most compelling reason for a structure with a small head office and three regional CEOs is that while the game is global, the stage of development, marketing needs, TV markets and the like are very different between regions. I intend to devolve considerably more authority and responsibility to the CEOs so that tournament directors, sponsors, the national governing bodies in the respective regions and TV companies will look to resolution from them rather than the head office.
“I’m pleased that Mark Young will join Horst and Brad as the leaders of their respective regions. He’s bright, extremely hard-working and will work with the US Tennis Association in particular to keep tennis moving in the right direction.”
The ATP’s Business Development function will be located in London, and the ATP soon will hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). “The CMO will help us become a world class marketing organization,” said de Villiers. “We need this person to drive strategy, maintain standards and establish the ATP brand so it delivers for all our stakeholders worldwide.”
ATP Media Contacts:
VP, Media Relations: Graeme Agars, email@example.com, +1-904-285-8000
Europe: Nicola Arzani, firstname.lastname@example.org, +377-9797-0404
Americas: Pete Holtermann, email@example.com, +1-904-285-8000
International Group: Stephen Duckitt, firstname.lastname@example.org, +61-2-9250-2300
Mundo Latino: Benito Perez-Barbadillo, email@example.com, +377-9797-0404
Support from the Tennis World
Rafael Nadal: “We live in a world of sports where show and business are in the same pot and I believe Etienne can help us position the game at the level where it has to be. Tennis is fun and entertaining and we have to show people this. I love this sport and enjoy every moment I am on court and off court with the fans, and he will guide us on this. I wish him luck and he has my support.”
Larry Scott, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO: "I have developed a close personal working relationship with Etienne over the past months and have been very impressed with his feel for the business and ability to hit the ground running. With his extensive media and entertainment background and desire to work collaboratively with tennis' other governing bodies, there is no doubt that Etienne will provide positive leadership for the ATP and the sport as a whole. I also want to congratulate Flip and Mark, with whom I worked closely for years when I was at the ATP, on their well-deserved promotions. I look forward to continued cooperation between the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and ATP to promote and grow tennis globally.”
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti: “The relationship that the ITF has forged so far with Etienne has been very positive. We believe that the ATP Board has made a wise decision to expand his role to full-time Executive Chairman and President and we look forward to working with him to grow and develop the sport of tennis. We are fortunate that he and his team will be based in London as that will make the interaction between our organisations stronger and we would be more than happy to welcome them to Roehampton where the ITF is based.”
Geoff Pollard, President, Tennis Australia: “Etienne has already developed a good working relationship with the Grand Slam Committee and we are pleased that he will now expand his role to become full-time Executive Chairman/President. We are already in partnership with the ATP in the Tennis Masters Cup and have discussed with Etienne opportunities to expand our relationship.”
Graham Pearce, ATP Board member and Tournament Director, Heineken Open, Auckland, New Zealand: “The renewed energy and enthusiasm within the ATP Board and ATP organization is palatable, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. We’ve been pleased with Etienne’s creativity and commitment, and glad to extend his role within the ATP.”
Patrice Dominguez, ATP Board member and Tournament Director, Open de Moselle, Metz, France: “Congratulations to Etienne, and congratulations to the ATP. I’ve been particularly impressed by Etienne’s ability to connect with all constituents to build bridges and form alliances. Working together is what is right and needed for this great game to flourish.”