Michael Dowse, the president of Wilson Sporting Goods Co., was named CEO and executive director of the USTA on Thursday.
He replaces outgoing CEO Gordon Smith, who is retiring Dec. 31 after 12 years in the job – the longest-tenured in that role.
Dowse has been Wilson’s president since 2013.
“Michael’s experience as a proven industry executive and his long history with our sport make him the ideal candidate for this position. The USTA is poised for growth, and we believe Michael will be the catalyst we need,” is the official quote from USTA president and board chairman Patrick Galbraith.
Before Wilson, Dowse worked for the parent company Amer Sports, a Finnish sporting goods company that has ski brands Salomon and Atomic – and Wilson – under its umbrella.
Prior to that, he was the director of tennis footwear for Nike between 2002 and 2004.
He began his career with Wilson in 1989, after graduating from the University of Portland, and stayed there 13 years.
Dowse is 53.
“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.
“I also would like to recognize the incredible achievements of Gordon Smith and the USTA team over the last several years. The foundation for growth is well established with proven assets such as the US Open, the USTA National Campus and the recent launch of Net Generation, our new youth tennis initiative.”
Wilson headquarters are in Chicago. Dowse will begin work on Jan. 1, and be based at the USTA’s spread in Lake Nona, Fla.