The governing body of men’s tennis, ATP is most likely to announce Massimo Calvelli as the next CEO following the exit of the current CEO Chris Kermode on 31st December 2019.
Massimo Calvelli has been in-charge of tennis marketing for Nike since 2014 and has negotiated deals with players like Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams. Moreover, he was close to Andrea Gaudenzi, another Italian based in London and recently appointed as the Chairman of ATP.
The ATP Player Council, spearheaded by Novak Djokovic voted to bring down Chris Kermode from the post of Chairman and CEO as some players were not entirely happy with the prize money given for certain tournaments and how it benefits only the elite players.
However, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were not entirely happy about it as the ATP had increased its prize money for all the tournaments, including the Challengers under the leadership of Chris Kermode. Roger even claimed that he was unaware of the voting and asked hoped he would meet Novak to discuss on the same.
Coming back to Massimo Calvelli, he had a minor career as a singles player on the Challenger tour, reaching a highest ranking of no.255 in 1995. After his stint as a player, Calvelli had worked with racket manufacturers Wilson, and presently Nike, and was widely regarded as a tough nut to crack.
Normally, the ATP had just one person holding both the positions as CEO and President but decided to split the functions as numerous conflicts were arising between tournaments and players with the CEO unable to make a stand. The players are expecting a transparent CEO in Massimo Calvelli.
In a statement given on his appointment as the President, Andrea Gaudenzi said: “I look forward to overseeing the future direction of the tour and building on the sport’s global success and popularity at what is unquestionably one of the most exciting times in the history of men’s professional tennis.”
Andrea Gaudenzi was welcomed by the player council President Novak Djokovic as he responded: “As a former player, he has walked in our shoes, and has also become a successful entrepreneur following his playing career. He has all the qualities to lead the tour and we look forward to working together for the benefit of the players and the sport more generally.”
Be it with Gaudenzi or with Calvelli, the changes being made at the ATP with the simultaneous transition in men’s tennis is a welcome note as many people in the sport viewed the ouster of Chris Kermode as a revolt led by Novak Djokovic.