The revolving doors continue to spin at the World Surf League. Tuesday morning, the WSL sent out a press release announcing that Sophie Goldschmidt “will be stepping down from her post” as Cheif Executive Officer and that President of Content, Media and Studios Erik “E-Lo” Logan will be filling her shoes.
In two very unsurprisingly vague statements from both Dirk Ziff and Goldschmidt herself, it remains unclear as to why exactly Goldschmidt will be removing herself from the helm of the company, other than the decision was “mutually agreed” upon. “Sophie has had a huge impact on the WSL,” said WSL-owner Dirk Ziff in the presser. “She is responsible for transforming both our business capabilities and culture in her tenure as CEO. With the converging trends in sports, media and entertainment, we mutually agreed it was time to make a change. Erik Logan is a proven leader and a world-class media executive with a profound personal connection to the sport of surfing. We are excited about what he will accomplish as CEO. We will always be grateful to Sophie for her contributions to surfing and we look forward to the WSL’s next chapter.”
“With the WSL now ready to become a more focused content and media company, the Board and I have mutually agreed it is the right time to make a change,” Goldschmidt said. “Having worked closely with Erik, he is the right person to lead the WSL into its next era. I am excited about what lies ahead for the organization.”
According to the presser, Goldschmidt only took on the role as CEO two years ago, back in 2017. “During her tenure, she led the institution of equal prize money across men’s and women’s surfing, negotiated a historic 10-year surfer agreement, secured the first-of-its-kind Facebook partnership and unprecedented levels of linear and digital distribution,” the press release notes. “She also delivered the first-ever competitive events at Surf Ranch (the WSL’s wave technology facility), relaunched the organization’s ocean health advocacy program WSL PURE, significantly raised the WSL’s profile globally and built a dynamic new leadership team.” Goldschmidt will join the company’s Advisory Board after she steps down.
And who is this Erik Logan who will steer the ship of professional surfing from this point forward? After serving as President of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and Executive Vice President at Harpo Studios, Logan has spent the past year as the WSL’s President of Content “revamping the organization’s live broadcasts, leading the development of off-platform content including its first non-scripted TV series, in partnership with ABC, Ultimate Surfer (airing Summer 2020), as well as 24/7: Kelly Slater on HBO.” (Definitely read up on the forthcoming reality show here.)
“The World Surf League is the most exciting, inspiring and promising opportunity I have ever encountered,” Logan said in the announcement. “The power of the organization’s platform, the history of championing the world’s best surfers, the global fan base and the opportunity to accelerate the WSL as an international sport and media powerhouse is absolutely incredible.”
“Surfing is powerful,” he continued. “As someone who came to it later in life, I personally understand the impact surfing can have on individuals, communities and the world at large. To be able to lead world-class people at the WSL and combine my professional and personal passions is a dream come true.”
This article originally appeared on Surfer.com and was republished with permission.
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