SBD/August 21, 2013/People and Pop Culture

NBA's Heidi Ueberroth To Leave The League At The End Of The Year After Two Decades

Ueberroth was instrumental in the development of NBA China
NBA Int'l President HEIDI UEBERROTH announced today that she will leave her job at the end of the year after nearly two decades with the league. Ueberroth, who has held her current position since '09, said she began to seriously consider leaving the league after the NBA Finals ended in June. “Looking around the table as we were doing business planning and knowing that the business was in terrific shape combined with some approaches to me and having a chance to explore those fully, it seemed the right time,” Ueberroth said. “It felt like the right time to take on a more entrepreneurial role and ownership type role.” Ueberroth said she does not yet have any specific future plans. After her departure, she will continue to consult with the league. “The fun part for me is to have the luxury to have some time to take the next step,” she said. “We have hugely talented team and it is the perfect time to look at new opportunities” (John Lombardo, Staff Writer). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sara Germano notes Ueberroth was "instrumental" in developing NBA China, recently valued at $2.3B, and "oversees 150 employees in four offices across greater China." She also "formed partnerships with overseas social networks, including Sina and Tencent Weibo, as part of her grass roots growth strategy." Her departure "raises questions about whether a glass ceiling exists for executive women in sports." Ueberroth, who is based in N.Y., said that she "spent about 50% of her time on the road, but that the travel wasn't nearly as arduous as managing the 12-hour-plus time difference with colleagues and clients in Asia" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/21).
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