How Did I Get Here? “Know when to ad­just and when to stay the course,” says World Surf League’s Paul Speaker

Bloomberg Businessweek (Asia) - - Contents -

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and co-owner, World Surf League

“I was class vice pres­i­dent, ed­i­tor of the year­book and news­pa­per, and head of the float and prom com­mit­tees. I played foot­ball, bas­ket­ball, track, and some base­ball.”

“I was an eco­nomics ma­jor. I loved the peo­ple but could not wait to go make money.”

“I worked on Su­per Mario Bros. for 18 months. It was a game changer for me.”

“Ev­ery­body would be like, ‘Oh great, the idea guy’s here. Let’s let him come up with some ideas.’ I was 29 and didn’t know it was a stupid ti­tle.”

“We’re the gov­ern­ing body of pro­fes­sional surf­ing—we changed the name to WSL last year—from ju­nior pro­grams up to our world cham­pi­onship tour. It’s in­cred­i­ble fun.”

“I saw that the surf tour needed help, so I flew to Aus­tralia to meet with the board of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Surf­ing Pro­fes­sion­als. It was al­most a year of ne­go­ti­a­tion.”

“They’d done some of­cial Olympic win­ter sports videos. I wrote them let­ters say­ing I could ski back­ward and hold a cam­era.”

With 2014 WSL cham­pi­ons Stephanie Gil­more(cen­ter) and Gabriel Me­d­ina (right), 2015

With WSL Com­mis­sioner Kieren Per­rowin Rio de Janeiro, 2013

At the con­tract sign­ing to ac­quire the As­so­ci­a­tion of Surf­ing Pro­fes­sion­als, 2012

Speaker in highschool, 1982

“We worked out of a garage.”

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