At age 60, Steve Simon said he had planned to spend the rest of his career as tournament director and chief operating officer at the Indian Wells event in California.
Who could have blamed him? The tournament in the desert is thriving, widely considered the best in the world after the four Grand Slam events.
But Simon’s professional path abruptly changed when Stacey Allaster made her surprise decision to resign as chief executive of the Women’s Tennis Association last month. Without summoning so much as a search committee, the W.T.A. board of directors offered the job to Simon, a longtime board member himself, who did not take long to accept.
“There are not too many times you have boards in our world of tennis that are that united and wanting to offer it to me without going through a public process,” Simon said in a telephone…