World Surf League Appoints Former Riot Games Executive, Ryan Crosby As New CEO

Riot Games’ president of publishing, Ryan Crosby, has been appointed as the upcoming CEO of the World Surf League, starting May 13, according to a report.

Crosby, who joined Riot in 2021, boasts a diverse background with previous roles at Activision, Netflix, and Hulu.

As he transitions to lead the WSL, Crosby will carry the responsibility of further expanding its digital presence, promoting surfing icons, and leveraging the heightened attention the sport will garner this summer during the Olympic games in Tahiti.

Former Riot Games executive: Ryan Crosby (Credit:Deadline)

“What I love about surfing is that it’s an incredible competitive sport, but it’s also much more than that,” Crosby said in a statement.

“It’s a way of life, a passion and a deeply committed global community. I am excited to leverage my experience to elevate the WSL brand, deepen our connection with fans and continue building something that surfers can be proud of.”

Crosby’s leadership will be instrumental in guiding the league through recent transitions, including the retirement of five-time world champion Carissa Moore, the potential departure of Kelly Slater, and reigning world champion Filipe Toledo’s one-year hiatus for mental health reasons.

The departure of former CEO Erik Logan last June prompted increased involvement from WSL ownership in managing the organization.

In January, the league announced a significant partnership with ESPN+ for streaming men’s and women’s championship tour competitions, while also welcoming Bonsoy, Lexus, and Eventbrite as new sponsors for the season. The WSL Finals are scheduled to take place in California in September.

Ryan Crosby (Credit: YouTube)

Emphasizing Crosby’s deep connections to surfing, including his personal passion for the sport and his involvement with the environmentally focused Surfrider Foundation, the WSL highlighted his suitability for the role.

Nolan Partners played a key role in facilitating Crosby’s selection through the search process.