January 15, 2022

Outgoing Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert Is Going to Be Commissioner of the WNBA

For those of us wondering what Cathy Engelbert is going to do next once her term as Deloitte CEO ends next month, it looks like we have our answer.

The WNBA announced today that it has hired Engelbert to be the league’s first-ever commissioner. She will take over on July 17, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. Engelbert succeeds Lisa Borders, who stepped down as WNBA president last October.

I’m not exactly sure why but Engelbert will be the first person to hold the title of WNBA commissioner, whereas the other four women who have led the league held the title of WNBA president. Maybe to be more in line with the NBA?

This seems like a really good landing spot for Engelbert, given her love of sports and, especially, basketball. She was a walk-on basketball player at Lehigh University and played under current Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw. As a senior in 1986, she captained Lehigh to an East Coast Conference title. Engelbert also played lacrosse at Lehigh and was a senior captain.

In a statement, Engelbert said:

“It is an absolute privilege to be joining the WNBA at such an exciting and important time in its history. 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.”

In addition, the WNBA posted the following video message from Engelbert on Twitter:

Engelbert, a former chairman and CEO of Deloitte’s audit practice, Deloitte & Touche, was named CEO of Deloitte in March 2015, becoming the first woman CEO of a Big 4 firm in the U.S.

However, she was not nominated by the firm’s board of directors last year to serve a second four-year term as CEO. Current Deloitte & Touche Chairman and CEO Joe Ucuzoglu will take over as Deloitte CEO on June 2.

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