W.N.B.A., who has no permanent executive leadership since her resignation as President, has appointed Cathy Engelbert as her new Commissioner. Ms. Engelbert will take over a league working to rename herself, and is in labor negotiations with a fast approaching deadline.
Ms. Engelbert will take over a league that wants to rename itself. Engelbert was elected Chief Executive of the accounting organization Deloitte in 2015. At Deloitte, a private company, partners select the chief executive for a four-year term. In March, Deloitte's partners elected the new CEO. Engelbert becomes a member of W.N.B.A. on July 1
"Cathy is a world-class entrepreneur with a deep relationship to women's basketball, making her the ideal person to guide W.N.B.A. into the next phase of growth, "said Adam Silver, commissioner of the N.B.A., in a statement on Wednesday. Engelbert has been with Deloitte since 1986, having graduated from Lehigh University, where she was the captain of the basketball team. In her final year, she scored an average of 14 points when the Mountain Hawks won the East Coast Conference tournament. In the title game, Ms. Engelbert scored 20 points and was rewarded in The Morning Call of Allentown with the merit of "gluing the pieces together when the rips became visible".
In a statement on Wednesday, Engelbert said it was an "absolute achievement" to be privileged to join the WNBA at such an exciting and important time in its history.
"I see a tremendous opportunity to strengthen the visibility of women's basketball, empower players and enhance fan engagement," she said.
Ms. Engelbert was an advocate of workplace inclusion. has spoken of almost leaving Deloitte in the 1990s when she was pregnant with her first child, and under her leadership the company announced a 16-week paid family leave scheme
"encourages" the League selected someone with Engelbert's business experience and knowledge of the game.
"We look forward to working with Cathy and to a redefined commitment to action that will value and support working women and working mothers throughout the league," said the Women's Basketball Association in a statement. "The progressive thinking and values that Cathy has proven throughout her career make us optimistic about the future of W.N.B.A. could look. Player. "In Lehigh Engelbert played under the Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw, the Notre Dame twice to N.C.A.A. Women Championships. At the Final Four this year, Ms. McGraw passionately hired to hire more women to train women's basketball.
The WNBA's 23rd season begins on May 24 and will play a major role in the future, a time when other professional sports leagues pose problems for women. Ms. Engelbert will not have much time to wet her feet.
The league has a new logo and color scheme and last month announced an agreement with CBS Sports Network to bring more of their games to a national audience. While television audiences were on the rise last season, attendance declined 13 percent, partly because the Liberty's home games were moved from Madison Square Garden to the much smaller Westchester County Center.
W.N.B.A. has been without President since October when Mrs. Borders resigned to run Time's Up, an advocacy group for women in the workplace. Mark Tatum, the deputy N.B.A. Commissioner, was interim President.
wife. Engelbert will lead the league through labor negotiations with his players, which will continue. Last autumn, players made use of their ability to terminate the collective bargaining agreement after the 2019 season and were dissatisfied with the tariff structure negotiated with ESPN prior to the league's last deal, which more than doubled annual TV revenue Working conditions and other concerns.