“Your vision will come under attack. Your vision will be questioned.”
Four months ago, Erik Logan was disappeared by the WSL mid-event at the Vivo Rio Pro, no reason given, only a curtly worded press release that neither thanked nor exalted their high-profile CEO.
“Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced that CEO Erik Logan has departed the company, effective immediately.”
Silence ensued as per the WSL’s policy regarding transparency, ie none, despite Logan’s almost five-year reign as head of pro surfing, which took in the pivot to a one-day world champ playoff, a mid-year tour cut, as well as failed ventures including The Ultimate Surfer and WSL Studios.
As Chas Smith reported following the disappearance,
The lack of any information, whatsoever, from the World Surf League in the aftermath, alongside the “flabbergasting” lack of knowledge by those close to the levers of power, suggested an absolutely ruthless NDA.
A championship tour surfer had told me, directly, that Logan had made certain surfers “feel uncomfortable” with his behavior and by asking them to one-on-one dinners or drinks. He also, it was said, became “erratic” when he drank. The assertion of both troublesome requests and over-indulgent drinking was corroborated by at least two others, both with direct experience.
“He was getting away with it for a while,” another with first hand experience told me. “Lots of reports the last few events that he’s been drunk and making inappropriate comments to the women.”
Putting pieces together, it suggests the sort of firing that would deliver no praise and require an ironclad NDA. One almost certainly concerning personal conduct and needing the head of human resources and the head of legal to take over at a moment’s notice.
One that forced him to “fly home immediately,” according to one source, directly following his ouster.
Erik Logan has been apprised of the accusations, that the aforementioned is my understanding of what led to his extreme ouster. I gave him much time to correct the record, via phone calls, voice messages left plus text, to provide any insight.
Many tears, you’d imagine, for a man who adored the sport’s stars so much he had a t-shirt made with a replica of Filipe Toledo’s chest tattoo and ordered the world champ to take off his shirt to compare.
Erik Logan, who is fifty-two, ain’t a man to stay on the canvas, of course.
Logan has risen from the ashes of his sacking and has transmogrified to inspirational speaker, advising CEO’s, mangers and so on, how to best run a company.
On his LinkedIn page, we find Logan, represented by The Harry Walker Agency, delivering an inspirational speech to the Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellowship in Nebraska.
“I have a saying when I walk into a company that companies turn around inside out not outside in. You have to establish the culture immediately. I think as a founder/CEO what gives you that alchemy in your community, which is your company, is you have to get the trust of your people.
“You have to have the highest regard of integrity. Also, and this is the part I’d add to the third leg of this stool is the vision. And you are the one who sets the vision. And the vision will come under attack. The vision will be questioned. People will doubt you and they will test your resolve.
“And that’s where the trust comes in. The culture allows you as the leader to hear the criticism and to embrace that criticism. For me, I think what makes that alchemy work is all three of those legs. But never forget the moment that if your’e the founder, the CEO, your job is to keep establishing, reinforcing the north star of where you’re going.”
A personal attack on surf fans, yes? The naysayers who didn’t buy his treacly brand of surfing? You’ll remember, or not, when Logan debuted Transformed, “stories of surf ambassadors whose lives were transformed through surfing, and who are now transforming their communities through the power of surfing.”
The first series “sparked an emotional response from surf fans and resonated with a broader audience,” Logan said at the time.
It also led to accusations that Erik Logan’s version of the WSL was festishising people of colour and it was this patronising approach masquerading as progressive values that had its potential audience staying away in droves.
If you wanna get Logan to speak at your Christmas party, Bar Mitzvah, decoupling event, Free Palestine protest, whatever, you can select from three topics.
-Riding the Waves of Passion and Profession: An unforeseen journey through Discovery, Loss, and Rediscovery
-Beyond the Degree: Life’s Unexpected Teaching on Success and Leadership
-The Art of the Turnaround: Lessons in Resurrecting Businesses and Cultures
What do you choose?
Or is the temptation too great to hear it all and would you book three times?