In an sudden transfer, Michael Dowse, the chief of the USA Tennis Affiliation, introduced on Wednesday that he would depart the group in March.
The choice caught gamers, officers and U.S.T.A. board members abruptly. Dowse, 55, has been formally in his publish because the affiliation’s chief government officer and government director for lower than two years.
His predecessor, Gordon Smith, spent 12 years within the place, however Dowse, the previous president of Wilson Sporting Items Co., mentioned he was prepared to maneuver on from having day-to-day administration duties at a single group.
“After 15 years of being president or CEO, I’m prepared for extra stability in my life and transferring extra into the position of adviser, guide or board member within the broader area of sports activities,” Dowse mentioned in a press release to The New York Instances.
Throughout his comparatively transient tenure at the united statesT.A., Dowse has needed to navigate heavy climate: a few of it within the forecast; a few of it utterly sudden.
He was employed, after an intensive search, in late 2019 to concentrate on reinvigorating group tennis and participation within the sport. He was additionally introduced in to cut back the united statesT.A.’s working prices and made vital cuts in a number of areas, together with participant improvement.
However the coronavirus pandemic created main monetary strain in 2020 by threatening the affiliation’s capacity to stage the U.S. Open, one of many 4 Grand Slam tournaments and the united statesT.A.’s main income every year. In contrast to Wimbledon, the united statesT.A. had no pandemic insurance coverage in case of cancellation. It was unclear for months whether or not the 2020 U.S. Open could be held, however the match went forward with out spectators, permitting the united statesT.A. to protect a big chunk of its working income by present broadcast and sponsorship offers.
In 2021, the Open allowed for full attendance throughout the primary draw, and the match struck a strong chord with New Yorkers and followers desirous to return to watching tennis in individual.
Dowse deliberate to go away his base in Orlando, Fla., and return to Phoenix.
“We need to thank Mike for his deep dedication to tennis and the regular hand he confirmed at a time of extraordinary problem and uncertainty,” mentioned Michael J. McNulty III, the united statesT.A.’s chairman of the board and president, in a press release.
As an outside sport conducive to social distancing, tennis obtained a giant enhance in participation in the course of the pandemic. The quantity of people that performed at the least as soon as in 2020 rose 22.4 p.c from 2019 to 21.6 million gamers, in keeping with the Sports activities and Health Business Affiliation. However protecting these new or returning gamers in the game can be a significant problem: one which can be left to Dowse’s successor.
The opposite main candidate when Dowse was employed was Lewis Sherr, the united statesT.A.’s chief income officer. Different candidates included Todd Martin, a former prime participant who now leads the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame, and Stacey Allaster, a former head of the WTA who’s the U.S. Open match director. However with the U.S. Open growth and building basically full, the united statesT.A.’s focus will stay on grass-roots improvement, which could lead on the group to rent from its board of administrators.