NEW YORK – Accomplished accounting executive Cathy Engelbert was appointed WNBA commissioner Wednesday. Cathy Engelbert, currently the CEO of Deloitte and the first woman to lead a “Big Four” professional services firm in the United States was appointed Commissioner of the WNBA. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the appointment and did so with the title of “Commissioner” as opposed to the WNBA’s previous leaders being titled as Presidents.
Engelbert will join the WNBA on July 17 and report to Silver, once her four-year term as CEO with Deloitte concludes. The WNBA’s 23rd season tips off on May 24.
“Cathy is a world-class business leader with a deep connection to women’s basketball, which makes her the ideal person to lead the WNBA into its next phase of growth,” said Silver. “The WNBA will benefit significantly from her more than 30 years of business and operational experience including revenue generation, sharp entrepreneurial instincts and proven management abilities.”
Engelbert was elected CEO by Deloitte’s partners in 2015, where she led one of the largest professional services organizations in the U.S. with more than 100,000 professionals. Over the course of her tenure, she has led a large transformation across the business by moving the firm towards emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, robotics and cloud, including securing ecosystem partnerships with large technology companies, and executing digital acquisitions. During her tenure, revenues grew over 30%, and Engelbert drove a people-first agenda, including implementing a holistic well-being culture through programs like Deloitte’s 16-week family leave policy.
“It is an absolute privilege to be joining the WNBA at such an exciting and important time in its history,” said Engelbert. “I see tremendous opportunity to bolster visibility for the sport of women’s basketball, empower the players, and enhance fan engagement. I look forward to using my business expertise and passion for basketball to promote women in the game and beyond, and to working with the teams and world-class athletes to help grow this league into a thriving business.”