The United States Tennis Association announced Thursday that Michael Dowse, President of Wilson Sporting Goods Co., will replace outgoing CEO and Executive Director Gordon Smith.

Dowse, who begin his new role on January 1, 2020 at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, FL, will look to apply his expertise in global strategy and operations to an organization seeking ways to continue growing the game at the grassroots level and making professional tennis viable throughout the U.S. The 53-year-old spent six years at Wilson where among other things, helped expand the company’s footprint in racquet sports and baseball, where he led the acquisition of household brands such as Louisville Slugger.

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“Having grown up playing tennis and being part of a family committed to community tennis, I feel very fortunate to be in a position to lead the USTA. I look forward to working collaboratively with the passionate volunteers, professional staff, current and past USTA board members and industry leaders to promote and develop the growth of tennis,” Dowse said in a statement released by USTA.

Prior to Wilson, Dowse worked for Amer Sports and Nike, Inc., where he was the Director of Tennis Footwear. Smith, the longest-tenured CEO and Executive Director in USTA history, previously announced he would retire at the end of the year. He took over the position in November 2007 and was instrumental in upgrading the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, construction of the Lake Nona campus and launch of  the Net Generation youth initiative.

Michael Dowse to succeed Gordon Smith as USTA CEO & Executive Director

Michael Dowse to succeed Gordon Smith as USTA CEO & Executive Director