The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) governing body has ended its search for a new chief executive by appointing experienced sports and media executive Portia Archer.

She joins the organization from basketball’s NBA, where she was chief operating officer of the NBA G League. She will take up her new position with the WTA on July 29. The search process was led by global executive search firm Korn Ferry.

Archer will replace Steve Simon who announced in December he would be moving to a role as executive chairman.

Simon has said: “Portia will be a fantastic addition to our leadership team, bringing a wealth of management experience and helping to drive operational excellence across the organization as we work together to further elevate women’s tennis for the benefit of players, fans, partners, and tournaments.”

As CEO, Archer will lead the day-to-day strategy and operations of the WTA Tour and the WTA’s relationship with its players and tournament members.

She will work together with Simon and Marina Storti, CEO of WTA Ventures, the commercial arm of the WTA that was established in 2023 in partnership with CVC Capital Partners.

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Simon was the WTA’s CEO and chairman since 2015 but the WTA will now split the roles to allow “greater focus” on its goals moving forward.

As executive chairman, he will focus on governance, strategic interests of the WTA within the sport, integrity issues, and the development of new markets and frontiers for the body. In addition, Simon will continue as chair of the WTA Ventures board.

As part of a leadership restructure at the WTA, Micky Lawler, who served as president for eight years, left the organization at the end of 2023.

Archer has more than 20 years of experience in the global sports and media industries, including senior positions at NBC Sports Group, HBO, and the BBC UK public-service broadcaster.

In her most recent role as COO of the NBA G League, she was responsible for overseeing all business and commercial operations for the NBA’s development league.

She served as vice president of global distribution and digital during her time at HBO, while at NBC Universal/NBC Sports Group, Archer led the sports rights acquisition strategy, launch and management of NBC’s first direct-to-consumer, live streaming business, and the predecessor to Peacock TV.

Archer added: “The WTA is an organization I have long admired. It has pioneered the growth and development of women’s professional sport around the world, and I am excited to have the opportunity to join the team as we deliver our ambitions for the Tour and write the next chapter of the WTA story.”

The WTA said the changes represent the latest step in its strategic development, which has led to the collaboration with CVC Capital Partners and the creation of WTA Ventures.

The new structure will help the WTA to “secure its objectives of growing the game and delivering equal prize money for women by 2033.”

WTA Ventures last year announced a string of new appointments joining its executive leadership team, with Sarah Swanson (chief brand officer), Marijn De Wit (chief financial officer), and Aditya Shenoy (head of strategy development) all coming on board.

Russell Cleeve was hired as chief consumer and digital officer, while Sorti took charge as CEO last August.

The majority of the WTA Ventures board was unveiled in April 2023.