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SBJ/March 21-27, 2011/Forty Under 40
Forty Under 40
Published March 21, 2011, Page 20A
It sure didn’t look like he would end up there. While at Stanford in the early 1990s, knowing he loved tennis but having no idea how to break into the sport, he approached the now defunct Tennis Week about an internship. The response from the late Gene Scott, who owned and ran the publication, Walker recalled, was that it would be the notoriously penny-pinching publication’s first.
After a summer there, with his parents’ help, he paid his way to Paris and landed another internship with ProServ, working with players such as Gabriela Sabatini. But the financial offers at the end did not meet his needs. He went to law school, and began work as a lawyer in 1997.
Walker tired of law and moved into communications, working for a handful of firms. It was in 2002 that the ATP account came aboard and he got to know the group’s then chief operating officer, Larry Scott. Scott offered him a consulting role with the ATP and he jumped at it.
When Scott moved to run the WTA, he brought Walker with him. Scott has since left, but Walker remains as one of the top executives now at the tour.
“The most challenging part of the job,” he said, “is we are a truly global sport, we’ve got some 50-odd tournaments across 30 or so countries, so there is always stuff going on. There is a very large mandate to promote our players and tourneys around the globe.”
Title: Senior vice president, global marketing & communications
Education: B.A., Stanford, 1993; J.D., NYU Law School, 1997
Family: Wife, Neringa Bruzgyte; son, Vilnius (4); daughter, Skaila (1)
Career: ProServ, 1993-94; White & Case, 1997-2000; Burson-Marsteller, 2000-02; ATP, 2002-03; joined the WTA in 2003
Last vacation: Klaipeda, Lithuania
What's on your iPod: MC Solaar
Guilty pleasure: Eating non-organic food when my wife isn’t looking
Best stress release: Evening — alcohol; morning — jumping rope for 20 minutes (to sweat
Pet peeve: People who smack their lips while
Greatest achievement: Ending each day with zero e-mails in my inbox. Also having the opportu-
nity to play a role in the WTA’s achievement of equal prize money at Wimbledon and Roland Garros.
Greatest disappointment: Inability to break
the 375-pound bench press barrier
Fantasy job: Elevator man (I need more time to think in peace, and I like to talk about the weather.)
Business advice: The purpose of life is happi-
ness (source: Dalai Lama).