WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow steps down, succeeded by Pat O’Connell

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

As founding Commissioner of the WSL, Kieren Perrow has been with the league since it was minted in 2014. Prior to that he spent fifteen years as a pro surfer.

Overnight, Perrow announced he was stepping down from the role to spend more time with his family in Byron Bay. Said Perrow:

"I've been a part of professional surfing my entire life, and I never imagined it would get to the level it’s at today,” Perrow said. “To be able to live out my dream on tour as a competitor, while also being a surfer rep and board member, was a massive high point in my career. However, getting to transition into my role as Commissioner and foster new talent and development pathways for surfers, has been even more rewarding. I'm really proud of my team and the WSL for all we have achieved together. With the role now needing to be based in Los Angeles, I’m taking this opportunity to step down and spend more time in Australia with my family, while continuing to be a part of professional surfing in a more focused capacity."

Pat O’Connell will succeed Perrow in the role, however he won't be 'The Commissioner' as KP was. On his business card will be the prolix title of Senior Vice President, Tours and Head of Competition (SVP, THC?). O’Connell will be based out of WSL Headquarters in Los Angeles, California.

"Words can't describe the amount of respect I have for the WSL, Kieren and his team,” O’Connell said. “From competitor to surfer rep to board member to commissioner, he really has given his all for surfing to get it to where it is today and I couldn't be more thankful. It’s super hard to leave my family at Hurley as it’s been such a huge part of my life for more than 15 years. I’ve had an incredible experience at Hurley, but I'm beyond excited for the opportunity to lead the competitive aspects of surfing and further elevate the sport. I believe in the WSL, I believe in what it can be, and I'm stoked."

O’Connell will officially begin his role on March 11, overseeing the development of all of the WSL’s tours - Championship Tour, Qualifying Series, Pro Junior Series, Big Wave Tour, Longboard Tour and Specialty Events and Series.

“Kieren’s leadership over the past six years has significantly contributed to the success and improvements across the sport, and we’re very pleased that he will continue to work with us in a new capacity,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said. “I am delighted that Pat O’Connell has agreed to join the WSL to fill KP’s shoes. He has held a number of diverse roles within surfing, both as a competitor and on the business side, and his passion for the sport is infectious. He will have the support of an incredible team at a time when momentum is building across all surfing disciplines and taking the sport to new levels.”

Comments

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 11:51am

I'd imagine KP will be a huge loss!
Maybe Pat could get Trestles back on tour.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 12:57pm

Anyone know what Pat’s role at Hurley was ?

Meaningless USA corporate title right there.

knB

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 4:06pm

Vice President of Sports Marketing.

mick-free's picture
mick-free's picture
mick-free commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 1:50pm

I think it was "Head of frothing"

Mick Free FIFOFOMO

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 1:51pm

Who would have guessed another yank in the WSL. Amazing. Nothing against Pat just a bit monocultural and mono accent they should have got Bobby or Chas if they were going to stick with USA that would liven the it up a bit.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 1:58pm

"Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said. “I am delighted that Pat O’Connell has agreed to join the WSL to fill KP’s shoes. He has held a number blah,blah, blah.” Geez this is getting worse every day. Talk about standard corporate speak I can listen to golf to hear this rubbish where is someone who has some salt not a failed tennis player.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 2:43pm

"death is not the end"..is the lyric that comes to mind; every one of those quotes reads like a completion of the descent from "if you can't rock'n'roll; don't fuckin' come" to being mounted by the corporate beast. Thankfully Nick Cave has moved on to his spoken word format, underpinned by the Red Hand Files; which I find inspiring.

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 4:01pm

"With the role now needing to be based in Los Angeles, I’m taking this opportunity to step down" - translated.
"YO keiran, you are going to have to move to LA, and work out of the corpo headquarters."
"Ummmm... yeah, but nah... thanks anyway. "

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 4:08pm

I can't stand the way US businesses title their job positions.

From Wikipedia:

Depending on the specific organization, the following may be an example of the hierarchy of the vice presidents:

Senior Executive Vice President (Sr. EVP)
Executive Vice President (EVP)
Senior Vice President (SVP)
Vice President (VP)
Additional Vice President (Addl. VP)
Assistant Vice President (Asst. VP)
Joint Vice President (Jt. VP)
Associate Vice President (Asso. VP)

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 at 8:24am

So, the ego needs 'president' in some capacity in the US.

While, here in Oz, it seems everyone needs to have "manager" in some capacity in their title. Unless of course you own the business / company and then 'founder' seems to pop up everywhere.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 9:47pm

It's over people........the dream is over, we shall now awake to the nightmare.......

Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green commented Tuesday, 12 Feb 2019 at 9:53pm

What an embarrasment the WSL has become and continues to be.
Can’t wait for the season to start though! Yew!

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 at 1:48am

You actually get excited? That's great for you.
In the last four to five years my interest in the ASP/ WSL has dropped to unknown levels of disinterest.....
It may be because I hear more about the people running the thing than the actual thing. Has anyone else picked up on that.
These ego maniacs running the thing, jump up and down. Then the continue to steal the limelight away from the competitors.
Its all just a massive tax scam / Ego puff pastry piece.
All that's inside the wsl is hot air,
ego and it stinks like shit!

Jof's picture
Jof's picture
Jof commented Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 at 12:32pm

hahaha. Great point!

mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine's picture
mugofsunshine commented Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 at 7:03am

Surely SVP of THC should have been filled by Joel Tudor?

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Wednesday, 13 Feb 2019 at 8:20am

" ... continuing to be a part of professional surfing in a more focused capacity."

So, what's the rumor mill got for where KP is heading?

With the Olympics on the horizon, a gig linked with that?

Or.

Will he end up at the HPC in some capacity? After all, it's not that far up the road for him to get into the office each day.

And, while I think about it? What's happened with Bede's role with the 'olympic team' ... don't see, haven't seen, much press, pics or articles coming out about what's happening in that space.

Stu, Ben n co ... worth some investigating?

Maybe it's the skeptic in me, but, it feels like some change is in the wind, both for the WSL and the Australian Surfing hierarchy. I for one, would love to see the HPC fuck right off, with the money they get from the gov't channeled back into grass roots surfing - the boardriders clubs and coaching links with them.

Has the HPC produced a world champion yet? Or, well even a top 5, surfer? Top 10?

Hmmmm.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

groovie's picture
groovie's picture
groovie commented Friday, 15 Feb 2019 at 6:56am

I've met Pat back in the 90's when he was chaperoning a young Irons brothers tour of Oz. Very enthusiastic guy who had a good positive attitude. As far as the WSL goes Ronnie & Potts are the only two commentators worth listening to so now Blakey is gone it's highlights for me unless Potts is in the driving seat!

groovie's picture
groovie's picture
groovie commented Friday, 15 Feb 2019 at 7:06am

P.S> being an old Le Ba boy I can remember Keiran as a young up & coming Seahorse(Byron Bay's boardriders). All the best mate & enjoy the run from South Wall to the Bay/ Goldie!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 15 Feb 2019 at 7:53am

Always enjoyed watching KP’s surfing. He may not have been the most marketably idiosyncratic, nor the most progressive surfer , but he was rock solid with a razor sharp rail game . Of course it doesn’t hurt that he charges.

Saw some older footage of him the other day , surfing with sneaky power and underrated finesse in the lip. The Aussie journeyman tag never gave his surfing the respect it deserved.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 15 Feb 2019 at 8:29am

he still shreds.