The WNBA announced on Tuesday morning that president Lisa Borders is stepping down to become the first-ever president and CEO of Time’s Up, an organization dedicated to fighting for safe, fair and dignified work for women of all kinds. A search for a new president will start immediately, and NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will oversee the WNBA in the interim.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave a glowing statement about Borders’ work at the WNBA.
“We are extremely grateful for Lisa’s leadership and tireless commitment to the WNBA. This is a natural transition for Lisa knowing what a champion she is for issues involving women’s empowerment and social justice and fortunately for us, she leaves the league with strong tail winds propelling it forward.”
Borders’ three-year reign as WNBA president has been successful. Under her leadership, attendance at WNBA games reached a six-year high in 2017, and games were streamed on Twitter. In 2018, WNBA players appeared in their first video game, and viewership jumped double-digits to reach a four-year high. Borders also helped bring a WNBA team to Las Vegas, and helped launch “Take a Seat, Take a Stand,” a program that donates a portion of WNBA ticket proceeds to nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering women and girls.
Despite her success at the WNBA, Borders, 60, told Vanity Fair in an exclusive interview that she felt compelled to do more after reading about the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations. A few months later, Borders watched Oprah Winfrey praise the newly founded Time’s Up organization at the Golden Globes, which deeply affected her.
“I was being not just invited, but encouraged — implored — to step forward and be part of this transformational change for women.”
Time’s Up was founded in January 2018 by women in the entertainment industry, and its focus has rapidly expanded beyond Hollywood. The organization has set up a $20 million legal defense fund to aid women who are fighting sexual assault and harassment in the workplace, and has advocated for protections for restaurant and domestic workers.
Borders will officially assume the role of Time’s Up president and CEO on November 1.
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