SBD/Issue 145/Leagues & Governing Bodies

WTA's Stacey Allaster Heavy Favorite To Replace Larry Scott

Allaster Likely Will Succeed
Outgoing Chair & CEO Scott
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour reportedly "won't be welcoming an outside face" to replace outgoing Chair & CEO Larry Scott, as WTA Tour President Stacey Allaster is Scott's "likely successor," according to Sandra Harwitt of ESPN.com. The WTA BOD last week met to discuss who will replace Scott when he leaves to become Pac-10 Commissioner on July 1, and while no decision was made, Octagon's Micky Lawler, a BOD member, said that she would "be amazed" if Scott's successor "didn't come from within the organization." Lawler: "I think Stacey would be a great choice. She's run one of the most successful tournaments on the tour. She's got a great relationship with the players. She'd be very, very good, but I do think it is too soon to tell you. I know there are a lot of interested candidates, even from outside of the organization." But Lawler added, "This isn't just about replacing the CEO. When somebody like Larry leaves this position you have to shuffle the strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, there are some very, very talented people there. Larry did a lot to strengthen the sport and bring investment into the sport, and that strengthening process needs to continue, because momentum cannot be lost." Harwitt noted inside the WTA, "there's the prevailing opinion that Allaster's appointment should be a foregone conclusion." One WTA employee said, "I think it would be a kick in the teeth if they didn't offer it to her first." Allaster's role with the WTA, "throughout the formation of the tour's new road map, suggests a smooth transition if she takes over." Sony Ericsson Open Chair Butch Buchholz said, "I would be very surprised if the board decides to go out and hire a headhunter and do a search. She's very level-headed, she's experienced, she understands the television side and I don't think that there's anything she doesn't know." Buchholz contends that Scott's immediate interest in hiring Allaster in '06 was "because she met the criteria to be his eventual replacement." Buchholz: "I'm assuming he brought her in with the idea that when he left he would feel good passing the baton to her" (ESPN.com, 4/15).

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