It seems like things are always changing at the World Surf League headquarters in Santa Monica. I’m sure that drives surfing’s “core” crazy because well, I’ve read internet comment sections from time to time. But the WSL has no interest in being the old ASP — something they remind their global fanbase of every few months, hiring accomplished executives from other fields and running the League more like an actual, honest-to-goodness professional organization than, you know, what you might expect from a bunch of surfers.
On Tuesday, the League announced Chief Executive Officer Sophie Goldschmidt will be stepping down from her position after the two mutually agreed “it was time to make a change.”
That change appears to be an even greater focus on the WSL’s broadcasting and content ambitions, naming President of Content, Media, and Studios Erik Logan as their new CEO. Logan was brought on board in late 2018 after a gig as President of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and Executive Vice President at Harpo Studios. He’ll now oversee all three business units of the World Surf League: Tours, Studios, and WaveCo.
“The World Surf League is the most exciting, inspiring and promising opportunity I have ever encountered,” Logan said Tuesday. “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.”
Under Goldschmidt, the WSL enacted its equal pay policy among male and female competitors as well as securing the organization’s Facebook partnership and laying the groundwork for its existing position as a broadcast and media entity.
“Sophie has had a huge impact on the WSL. She is responsible for transforming both our business capabilities and culture in her tenure as CEO,” Dirk Ziff, WSL Owner, and Board Member said. “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.”