Kieren Perrow has announced he is stepping down as World Surfer League Commissioner after six years in the role.
The WSL has confirmed Pat O’Connell will succeed the former Australian pro-surfer in the role, which will now be titled WSL role of SVP, Tours & Head of Competition.
O’Connell will be based out of WSL Headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
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Perrow said he made the decision to step down to spend more time in Australia with his family.
“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,” Perrow said.
“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.
O’Connell praised Perrow for his efforts over the years.
“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.”
The WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt also paid tribute.
“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,” Goldschmidt 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.”
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.