SBJ/Dec. 9-15, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

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  • Walker stepping down as CMO at WTA Tour

    The WTA Tour’s chief marketing officer and its chief spokesman are departing the circuit by the end of the year.
    Andrew Walker, 42, a decade-long veteran of the WTA, will leave his CMO post Dec. 31 and is examining career opportunities.

    “Since joining the WTA in 2003, Andrew has played a lead role in the areas of communications, marketing, sponsorship sales and activation, and numerous strategic projects in helping to drive the growth of our sport and achieve so many of the critical milestones of the past 10 years for women’s tennis,” WTA Chief Executive Officer Stacey Allaster wrote in an email sent to tour staff last week.

    Andrew Walker has been with the tour since 2003.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    According to the WTA’s most recently filed tax return, Walker in 2012 was the second-highest-paid executive at the WTA, earning $487,539, trailing only Allaster.

    Walker, who plans to continue living in London, said, “I have enjoyed every moment I have been at the WTA. I feel like I have accomplished a lot. Sometimes … you seek the next chapter to keep the juices flowing and to learn and develop, and the time feels ripe for that.”

    Walker’s portfolio of work thinned when the WTA this summer added Steve Tseng from IMG to head up sponsorship sales. That work previously had been under the CMO position. Tseng reports to Allaster.

    Walker’s day-to-day contact with Allaster also diminished when the tour hired Chris Wallace last year as chief spokesman. But Wallace, a former NBA spokesman, also is now departing. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Wallace earned $174,376 for his time at the WTA in 2012, making him the eighth-highest-paid executive that year, according to the tax return.

    It is not believed the WTA plans to fill the CMO post, with the circuit said to be considering adding a president down the line who would assume the CMO’s responsibilities.

    Allaster last week briefed the marketing and communications teams on how Walker’s and Wallace’s responsibilities will be divided. In the interim, Kevin Fischer, a longtime communications staffer, becomes the tour’s chief spokesman.

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