In what has amounted to a surprise announcement, Lisa Borders has formally stepped down as president of the WNBA on Tuesday morning.
BIG #BREAKING News! @WNBA President Lisa Borders stepping down after 3 seasons: "We are extremely grateful for Lisa's leadership and tireless commitment to the WNBA." – #NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says in a statement #WNBA
— The Ball Out (@theballoutmedia) October 2, 2018
Borders has accepted a job as the first-ever president and CEO of Time’s Up, an organization focused on equal opportunities and rights for women in the workforce.
In a statement posted on WNBA.com, Borders expressed gratitude for her three years of service with the league.
“It has been an honor and my absolute privilege leading the WNBA and being part of what it stands for,” Borders said. “I want to thank Adam (Silver, NBA commissioner) for giving me the opportunity and support to help grow this league. I am most proud of the W players for their amazing talents on the court and their dedication to making an impact in their communities. I look forward to contiuing my support for the W in my role with Time’s Up. I will always be the W’s biggest advocate amd fan.”
Silver also took time to thank Borders for her guidance in helping the WNBA grow.
“We are extremely grateful for Lisa’s leadership and tireless commitment to the WNBA,” Silver said in a statement. “This is a natural transition for Lisa knowing what a champion for issues involving women’s empowerment and social justice and fortunately for us, sge leaves the league with strong tail winds propelling it forward.”
Under Borders’ leadership, the WNBA had seen its highest attendance markings as well as improving TV ratings. To add, she also oversaw the addition of WNBA games being live-streamed on Twitter as well as the addition of WNBA teams and players on a video game for the first time for the first time on NBA LIVE 18.
The league’s players were caught by surprise, as The Root posted the news in an article before the league had a chance to officially announce it. Washington Mystics forward Monique Currie summed up her thoughts in a tweet shortly before the league made its announcement:
— Monique Currie (@Mocurrie25) October 2, 2018
With the league in an upward trend, Borders’ departure is a bit of a gut punch for a league that needs stability. NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will oversee the WNBA on an interim basis, while the search for a new president begins immediately.