Breaking: WSL Parts Ways With CEO Erik Logan
Elo gets the 2/3rd year cut.
Update: Did Erik Logan get “forced” out of the WSL?
Today, the WSL announced its immediate split with their Chief Executive Officer, Erik ‘Elo’ Logan.
The official press release states:
CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately. As the WSL begins the process of identifying a new CEO, Emily Hofer, WSL’s Chief People & Purpose Officer, and Bob Kane, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Legal Officer, will jointly lead the company and continue to drive the WSL’s mission to showcase the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves as the global home of competitive surfing.
A former Oprah Winfrey Network executive, Logan joined the WSL in 2019 as their President of Content, in an effort to enhance the League’s media production. He was named CEO in January 2020 following the departure of the WSL’s former leader, Sophie Goldschmidt.
In his time as CEO, Logan has overseen a complete rethink of the WSL’s competitive circuit, including the creation of a three-tiered qualification system, the CT’s mid-year cut, and the WSL Finals. He also helped broker deals for surf-based programming on major television networks like The Ultimate Surfer (ABC) and Make or Break (Apple TV+).
We’ll discuss more of Elo’s contributions to the WSL in a later piece.
Today’s news, while not totally shocking, seems to have come out of the blue. And the suddenness of Logan’s departure raises several questions:
- Was it Erik’s decision to leave, or did the WSL push him out? Elo’s recent social feed features paragraph upon paragraph about all the great work the WSL is doing. Is that the behavior of a man who doesn’t know he’s about to be fired, a man desperately trying not to be fired, or a man who wants to leave on a positive note?
- What’s with the timing? The middle of the season is a weird time for the CEO of a sports league to leave…the middle of an event is almost unheard of, and makes us think that something specific must have happened during the Vivo Rio Pro’s six lay days. The fact that the WSL doesn’t have a replacement ready to take over Logan’s position is also quite telling.
- Who’s gonna fill his seat? While we’re sure that the WSL’s CP&PO and COO/CLO are very fine people, the League has stated clearly that they are in a “process of identifying a new CEO”. So will the WSL promote from within (perhaps Dave Prodan or Jessi Miley Dyer), or follow their time-tested tradition of choosing a leader from outside of surfing.
- Does Elo’s departure have anything to do with the Surf Ranch imbroglio and WSL’s talks of a sale? Erik Logan came in hot against dissenting surfers a few weeks back, causing a bit of controversy between the League and its stars. Drama doesn’t generally help in acquisition talks, and sometimes a change in leadership is required to show a buyer just how serious you are about selling. Could that be the case here?
This is obviously huge news for the sport of surfing, but for now we have more questions than answers. We’ll do our best to solve these puzzles in the coming days.
Update: Did Erik Logan get “forced” out of the WSL?
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