WHITE PLAINS, December 8, 2021 (USTA Press Release)
Michael Dowse, who led the United States Tennis Association through two years of the COVID pandemic, during which the US Open was preserved and interest and participation in tennis dramatically rebounded, has decided to step down from his CEO post effective March 2022.
Dowse, who was named USTA CEO and Executive Director in October 2019 after leading the Wilson Sporting Goods Co., led the USTA through a major restructuring and the implementation of a new strategic plan that has strengthened its financial outlook and focuses on its mission to promote tennis at all levels in the U.S.
“The USTA is now in a strong position for the future,” said Dowse, “and I am confident I will be leaving it in good hands and well-positioned for success. I want to thank our Board, the USTA staff, our many volunteers, and the wide community of people who love and play tennis, for making possible the success we have had. Working together, we demonstrated that tennis is the model sport, not only for safe and fun recreation during a pandemic but also for a lifetime.”
Dowse noted the success the game has experienced “at the highest level of the sport – the US Open – as well as at every park and school where record numbers of Americans are now participating, with over four million new players just in the last two years.”
USTA Chairman of the Board and President Michael J. McNulty III expressed the USTA’s appreciation for Dowse’s leadership: “We want to thank Mike for his deep commitment to tennis and the steady hand he showed at a time of extraordinary challenge and uncertainty. He helped navigate the USTA through two years of pandemic, staged two US Opens at a time when many thought it would be impossible, and helped refocus the USTA on its mission of growing the sport at the local level.”
In addition, McNulty said, Dowse “led the creation of Tennis Industry United, which will benefit the entire tennis ecosystem by expanding diversity and inclusion and engaging with people at all levels and in all communities.”
Dowse will remain as CEO until March 1, 2022, and will assist with the transition. During that time, the USTA Board will conduct a search for a new CEO and finalize succession plans.