Silver: WNBA role change signifies 'same status' as other league heads
Mireya Acierto / WireImage / Getty

For the first time in WNBA history, the league's top employee will operate under the title of commissioner when outgoing Deloitte chief executive officer Cathy Engelbert assumes the role next month.

The change in title may seem like a matter of semantics, but there is apparently a good reason why the league's boss will no longer hold the title of WNBA president.

"With Cathy's hiring, we wanted to signal to the broadest possible audience that the WNBA is a major league and that she has the same status as the heads of other U.S.-based sports leagues," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday.

The past four heads of the WNBA - Val Ackerman (1997 to 2005), Donna Orender (2005 to 2010), Laurel J. Richie (2011 2015), and Lisa Borders (2016 to 2018) - operated under the title of president, a different mantle than their respective counterparts in the NBA and other professional leagues across North America.

The subtle change of Engelbert's title is the latest in an offseason of rebranding for the WNBA. All 12 teams had their jerseys overhauled and the league unveiled a new logo ahead of the 2019 season.

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Silver: WNBA role change signifies 'same status' as other league heads
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