Sally Bolton will succeed Richard Lewis as chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (ALETC) following next year’s Wimbledon Championships, it has been announced.
Bolton joined the AELTC in 2016 as head of corporate affairs after resigning as managing director of the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London following an alleged power struggle with London 2017 chair Ed Warner and chief executive Niels De Vos.
Her role was taken over in February 2016 by Cherry Alexander, then head of UK Athletics’ international and televised events.
Bolton had previously been responsible for the successful delivery of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, which took place in England, Wales, France and Ireland, following which she was awarded the Order of the British Empire.
"Our Committee felt that she is perfectly placed to assist us in embracing and delivering on our future challenges and opportunities," Ian Hewitt, the AELTC chairman, said.
Taking on the position of AELTC strategic planning and operations director in February 2018, Bolton has been part of four Championships at Wimbledon, and played a significant role in the acquisition of the Wimbledon Park Golf Club.
She has been a Board member of UK Sport since March 2018 where she is its diversity champion and has been a member of the Major Events Panel since 2013.
"In a process of planned succession, the AELTC conducted a robust and wide-ranging global search process with the support of executive search firm SRI Executive," the AELTC said in a statement.
"With a proven track record of sports and event management experience at both an executive and non-executive level within the sports industry, Bolton was recognised by the AELTC Committee for her depth of experience, vision and positivity in managing a wide variety of external and internal stakeholders at both a strategic and operational level together with her commitment to striking a balance between innovation and evolutionary progress.
Bolton will will be the first female chief executive of the AELTC since its formation in 1868.
"I am thrilled to be appointed as the next chief executive of the AELTC," she said.
"In my four years working here to date I have learned what a special place the All England Club is and to be asked to lead such a fantastic organisation through the next period of its history is a tremendous honour and privilege.
"We have some fascinating challenges and opportunities ahead of us, and I look forward to working with Richard to achieve a successful transition before he steps down, and with Ian, the Committee and the rest of the executive team to ensure that Wimbledon continues to be regarded as highly as it is today."
Lewis is former British Davis Cup player who has held his role at the AELTC since 2012.
"I am delighted that Sally has been appointed as my successor, she is the ideal person to take on this wonderful role," he said.
"I look forward to working with her as we begin the process of a smooth and well managed transition."