Today, in a short press release, the World Surf League announced that CEO Erik Logan had left the company. There wasn’t much in the name of details in the release other than to say Logan had departed. Apparently, Emily Hofer, the WSL’s Chief People Officer, and Bob Kane, who serves as COO and Chief Legal Officer, will continue operations as the League looks for Logan’s replacement.
“The World Surf League (WSL) announced that CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately,” reads the release. “With Hofer’s and Kane’s leadership, alongside the dedicated executive team, the WSL remains well-positioned for continued success and growth. The League maintains an unwavering commitment to working alongside our colleagues, athletes, and partners to build surfing’s global competitive platform, aligned with our purpose initiative around ocean conservation. Together, we will work to advance and develop competitive surfing, pushing forward to the evolution and progression of this incredible sport.”
Logan oversaw a time of extreme change for the WSL. Aside from venue and schedule switches, Logan instituted a mid-year cut of athletes that culled the competitive field in half midway through the season. It wasn’t the most popular move among surfers. But it did create a more competitive start to the year, and increased interest around Margaret River as the cut-off event. Logan also instituted an end-of-season championship, The Final Five. He and his team created more opportunity for surfers around the world with the Challenger Series, a new qualification format to try and even the playing field for surfers from lesser funded regions. Logan also oversaw WSL through the COVID pandemic, an extremely difficult time for business.
There were no details from Logan on why he decided to leave. But the League had come under fire lately, especially after a judging controversy at the Surf Ranch Pro, an event that has proven to be unpopular amongst fans in general. Three of the best surfers in the world went public with their complaints about the judging including Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, and Italo Ferreira. Logan issued a statement regarding the incident after surfers like Ethan Ewing, and his coworkers, received death threats.
All in all, an unstable time at the home of competitive surfing. Stay tuned.