After a 4.5 year reign over the World Surf League (WSL), Erik Logan has been removed from office. At press, speculations abound around why it happened in such an abrupt fashion, as it occurred in the middle of the VIVO Rio Pro. Perhaps it was done to draw more eyes for Finals day of the insufferable event? If so, it may have been the most genius move made by league since, well, ever.
Surf media has been quick to claim credit for vocally predicting Logan’s dismissal. Sorry SurfSplendor, but that’s like 2Pac being praised for foreseeing his own death while running his mouth at every gangster from Brooklyn to LA’s Chesterfield Square, MGM Grand in Las Vegas included. ELO’s clock has been ticking ever since ABC’s The Ultimate Surfer slid into the dreaded Monday night 10 PM PT time slot.
So here we are in the aftermath, with everyone wondering who the next CEO of the WSL will be. At the moment, the strategic pairing of WSL executives Emily Hofer (HR) and Bob Kane (Legal) as interim CEO is a non-binary bandaid solution that could last until the 2023 WSL Finals, if not longer. Logan’s “permanent” successor may not be named until the beginning of the 2024 season which will leave us hanging with bated breath. In true American fashion Action Sports Betting (ASB) has provided odds on the matter, along with some prop bets that consider co-occurring factors.
Note: This page will remain in place even after the new WSL CEO has been named. The office of the WSL CEO has a revolving door policy, so be sure to check back again as required.
Betting Odds and Predictions for Who Will be the New CEO of the World Surf League After the Departure of Erik Logan in 2023
Kelly Slater +300
The Vegas moneyline on Kelly Slater being named the new CEO within the next 12-months is set at +300. For non-punters, this means that there is a 25% chance of it happening. The odds of this occurring are highly dependent on whether or not Kelly qualifies to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympic Games for Team USA. If he doesn’t, the C-level executive suite overlooking 147 Bay Street in Santa Monica will start looking sweet to Slater. That being said, Kelly does not respond well to public criticism, which is endemic to the WSL CEO role. He won’t be able to Instagram-block the backlash to come from adding a second wave pool (Abu Dhabi) event to the CT schedule.
Bob Hurley +240
What about Bob? This idea was thrown out by David Lee Scales and Chas Smith during the après-Logan party on the Surf Splendor podcast, and we love it! Hurley built a highly successful core surf brand before unloading it for millions to Nike who then went on a sell the brand’s soul to BlueStar Alliance. Consequently, Hurley softgoods can now be found in every TJ Maxx from Albuquerque New Mexico to Omaha Nebraska. This is the business model WSL owner Dirk Ziff seems to want to follow. Who better to get him there while appeasing core surf fans at the same time? It would be a brilliant move.
Jessi Miley-Dyer +225
The current WSL “Chief of Sport” and goofy-footed Jessi Miley-Dyer was Logan’s right-hand woman in leading the WSL into its current state. This may work for or against her as a candidate for CEO. It depends on whether or not she towed Logan’s line, or was a catalyst to cutting him loose by going to the Board with damaging intel on her boss. The latter is pure speculation, but as alluded to above, there is a lot of mystery behind Logan’s departure. Unless the WSL provides insight into what occurred, there is nothing left to do but drop conjecture.
Another thing to boost the odds in favor of Miley-Dyer as a successor is her gauntlet of motivational speaking engagements over the past annum. Was she being groomed to take over the WSL one day? Furthermore, Jessi has been a staunch proponent of gender equality in surfing which is something that the WSL has been marketing relentlessly since Sophie Goldschmidt held the WSL CEO role with a slippery grip.
Fernando Aguerre +100
Fernando Aguerre is one of the most influential people in surfing and has been a mainstay in the organization of its international contest circuit for decades.. The former lawyer and serial entrepreneur who cofounded REEF, currently heads the International Surfing Association (ISA) and spearheaded the inclusion of surfing in the Summer Olympic Games. His accolades include (but are not exclusive to) the following (courtesy of EOS):
- Cofounder and President of the Pan American Surfing Association (1992)
- Chairman of the ISA International Surfing Association (1994 +)
- Organizer of the World Surfing Games (1996)
- Organizer of the Reef Big-Wave Team World Championships (1998)
- Ranked 19th on Surfer magazine’s list of the “25 Most Powerful People in Surfing” in 2002
- Board member of the Save The Waves Coalition
- Board member of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA)
There is no one as qualified to run the World Surf League than Fernando Aguerre. But as history has shown, qualification has never been corporate WSL’s cup of tea. Maybe Logan’s reign and fall will shake sense into WSL owner Dirk Ziff, who may confidently place the reins in the hands of a capable figurehead. Action Sports Betting gives 50/50 odds (+100) of this happening. A flip of the coin is about as good as it gets.
Prop Bets (YES) on Who Will be the Next WSL CEO
Will the Next WSL CEO be a Woman?
Will the Next WSL CEO be an American?
Will the Next WSL CEO be a Former CT Surfer?
Will the Next WSL CEO Hold the Position for Longer than a Full CT Season?
Stay tuned as we update the odds for who will be the next CEO of the WSL in 2023 and beyond. We will update this list as we get news of new candidates!