ITF Press Release, February 13, 2021
The Grand Slam Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Ugo Valensi as its new Executive Director, effective 1 March 2021.
The Grand Slam Board is the representative body of the four Grand Slam tournaments in tennis – the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, The Championships, Wimbledon, and the US Open – and is comprised of the Chairs and Chief Executives of the four Grand Slams and the President of the International Tennis Federation.
As Executive Director, Mr Valensi will be a strategic relationship leader for the Grand Slams as they move forward with ambition in the ever-changing sports, media and entertainment landscape. Partnering with each Grand Slam’s own teams, his remit will include developing an overall strategy for the Grand Slams, helping to drive greater collaboration between the principal bodies in tennis to ensure that tennis is a healthy, thriving sport, and engagement with the wider global tennis stakeholder community.
The 39-year-old Frenchman brings a wealth of experience across a wide range of sectors including sports marketing, media and entertainment. Most recently, he was the Chief Executive of Lagardère Sports & Entertainment until its sale in 2020, having joined the sports marketing agency in 2011. He began his career in financial services with Ernst & Young before graduating with an MBA from INSEAD and moving into management consulting with AT Kearney.
The Grand Slam Chairs commented: “We are delighted by this appointment of an individual with Ugo’s skills and experience. Building on the strong foundations provided by Bill Babcock over his years of service, Ugo will greatly assist the Grand Slams to continue to deliver on our responsibility as the sport’s premier tournaments. Of the highest priority will be the enhancement of our relationships within the game to reflect the substantial and continuing investment of the Grand Slams towards the future strength and benefit of the sport.”
Mr Valensi commented: “It’s an honour and a privilege to join the Grand Slams, four of the most iconic organisations in the world of sports, and I’m thrilled about this unique opportunity. I look forward to working with the Grand Slam teams, all tennis communities and stakeholders and to contributing to the future direction of the Grand Slams.”