Former Disney exec Franklin to lead Kelly Slater Wave Co

Former Disney exec Franklin to lead Kelly Slater Wave Co

World Surf League

The World Surf League (WSL) has appointed Nick Franklin as president of the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC).

Franklin was previously executive vice president of next generation experience at The Walt Disney Company, where oversaw the guest experience at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

In his new role, he will be tasked with driving the global growth and commercial development of the KSWC, the pioneering wave pool technology company the WSL acquired in 2016.

“Nick is a visionary leader and we’re very fortunate to have him join the organisation,” said WSL chief executive Sophie Goldschmidt. “It’s a time of unprecedented opportunity for the company with so many exciting aspects to develop, so Nick’s incredible experience, stellar reputation and proven track record will make him vital to the successful future of KSWC and the WSL.”

Co-founded by 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater, the KSWC is the creator of the Surf Ranch, a Lemoore, California-based artificial wave pool that is due to host the first-ever WSL Championship Tour event held on manmade waves, the Surf Ranch Pro, between 6th and 9th September.

“What drew me to this role is incredible appeal of surfing, its talented athletes and the opportunity to connect people to this inspirational sport, to create unique, memorable moments,” said Franklin, who spent 18 years with Disney.

“But having got my feet under me in the past few weeks and having a chance to see the capabilities of this superb team, I can see all of the enormous potential and am looking forward to building on the amazing foundation of work that’s been done so far by both the KSWC team and partners at the WSL.