WNBA president Orender stepping down

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:13 PM ET

NEW YORK -- WNBA president Donna Orender has announced she will resign her position at the end of the year so she can start her own marketing, media and strategy company.

The resignation will be effective as of December 31, ending Orender's six- season run as the league's president. She will launch Orender Unlimited, an independent company, but will continue to serve as a consultant for the WNBA.

Orender was named to the position in April 2005, taking over for Val Ackerman, the league's president for its first eight seasons. NBA senior vice president Chris Granger will oversee the WNBA's operations on an interim basis, while the search for Orender's successor will begin immediately.

"I am extraordinarily proud to have served as WNBA president and to be a part of this league and all that it stands for," said Orender. "While delivering a major-league experience on the court, the WNBA is truly a beacon for global, social and cultural change off the court. The opportunity to play a role in growing this league, building its business and leveraging the power of sports to truly help change people's lives has been extraordinary."

During Orender's tenure, the WNBA signed an eight-year extension of the league's network television contract and a six-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.

Prior to joining the WNBA, Orender was involved with the PGA Tour for 17 years. She oversaw worldwide management of PGA television and production, advertising, brand management and integration.

Orender was an All-American basketball player at Queens College and played for three seasons in the Women's Basketball League.


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