The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC), which stages The Wimbledon Championships, has announced that Richard Lewis will step down as the Chief Executive after The Championships next year.
In a process of planned succession to follow the handover of the role of AELTC Chairman from Philip Brook to Ian Hewitt, Lewis will continue as Chief Executive until a date to be agreed following the appointment of a successor, the AELTC has stated in a Press note.
Lewis joined the AELTC as Chief Executive ahead of The Championships 2012, having been Executive Chairman of the Rugby Football League since 2002, and Chair of Sport England since 2009. A former professional tennis player, Lewis reached a career-high No.68 in the world and represented Great Britain in the Davis Cup semi-final of 1981, before going on to coach and work in tennis.
Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive, commented: “It has been an immense privilege to be Chief Executive of the All England Club and to play a part in the continued evolution of the Club and The Championships.
“I am extremely proud to have worked with the Committee and a highly talented Executive team, to deliver several significant milestones during my tenure, including the enhancement of the grass court season, a 160% increase in player prize money, the development and implementation of the Wimbledon Master Plan and the completion of the No.1 Court Project alongside a variety of other enhancements to the Grounds and our facilities, the acquisition of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club, valuable support to the local community through the creation of the Wimbledon Foundation, and the measured growth and professionalisation of our organisation to what I believe is one of the finest in the world of sport.
“Given the election of a new Chairman in Ian Hewitt, and the development of the next AELTC Master Plan for the full breadth of the Grounds, it is the perfect time for me to step down as Chief Executive and hand over the reins to a new individual to take the Club and The Championships into this next phase of its history, whilst I look forward to spending more time in Yorkshire.
“I would like to record my thanks to all my colleagues, to Philip Brook, the Club and its Committee and Members for their support in enabling us to deliver on our objectives and ensure that Wimbledon remains at the top table of world sport. In the meantime, I look forward to working with Ian, the Committee and my colleagues to plan and deliver The Championships 2020.”
Philip Brook, AELTC Chairman, commented: “I would like to thank Richard for the outstanding service he has given to the AELTC and to The Championships. He has been a remarkable Chief Executive who has led our Executive superbly to deliver a phenomenal period of change that will long be recognised in our history. He has been a pleasure to work with, and will be sorely missed by us all when the time comes.”
Ian Hewitt, AELTC Vice Chairman, added: “Richard has been a marvellous asset to the AELTC and The Championships and I am delighted to continue to have the opportunity to work with him on preparations for The Championships 2020 and the broader AELTC Master Plan while we go through the process of appointing a successor.”
The search process for the new AELTC Chief Executive will be conducted by executive search firm SRI. Any expressions of interest should be directed to David James, Managing Partner, SRI.