The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), organizer of the prestigious Wimbledon tennis championships in London, has announced today (January 20) that Debbie Jevans will replace current chair Ian Hewitt at the end of July.
As preparation for that change, Jevans – who has held multiple prominent roles in sports administration and business over the last two decades – has been elected as vice chair with immediate effect. 62 and a former general secretary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), she will become the AELTC’s first female chair.
Jevans is one of the UK’s most experienced sports executives, having been director of sport at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and then spending time as chief executive for the organizing committee behind the 2015 men’s rugby union World Cup in England and Wales.
Roles have also included time spent as vice chair of Sport England; and as the director of women’s sport at the ITF.
Reports from October suggested Jevans was one of the frontrunners to take over from Hewitt.
Hewitt, meanwhile, first told the AELTC before Wimbledon 2022 that he would stand down after the 2023 edition.
His tenure began in December 2019 and has covered the full cycle of the championship dealing with Covid-19, the appointment of Sally Bolton as chief executive in late 2019, as well as the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine early last year, which led to players from the aggressor being banned from Wimbledon last year.
In terms of commercial activity, major brand partnerships have been struck with Vodafone and Barclays (although long-term sponsor Robinsons has made its exit), while broadcast renewals have been struck with the BBC domestically and with ESPN in the US.
Last month, meanwhile, international sports and entertainment heavyweight IMG extended its long-term commercial rights deal with the AELTC in a long-term renewal.
The partnership extension builds on a relationship between the pair that has been running for more than 50 years.
Hewitt has said: “Debbie has a valuable combination of skills and experiences gained over a long career in sport, both as a former professional tennis player and through a number of leadership roles within high-profile sports organizations… This equips her well for the role and I look forward, as planned, to handing over as chair after the 2023 championships and wish Debbie all success as we continue with our ambitions.”
The 2023 Wimbledon Championship is due to run from July 3 to 16.
In October, the AELTC appointed Usama Al-Qassab, most recently vice president of marketing at Walt Disney, as its marketing and commercial director.