We knew it was coming. Still, the departure of Raymond Moore is shocking.

In yesterday’s breakfast news conference Moore said Larry Ellison had asked him to make a five-year plan of the future of the BNP Paribas Open.

Moore joked that he told his wife that there would be no more vacations for them for a while. Then there was this exchange with a reporter, which showed his love for the position he now has had to abandon so suddenly:

QUESTION: Obviously this [breakfast news conference] started…as a three-man show [with Moore, Charlie Pasarell and Steve Simon]. Last year it was a two-man show [with Moore and Simon] and now it’s just you [since Simon became CEO of the WTA]. Have you thought, going forward, how much longer are you planning on doing this? You seem to still enjoy it, but I’m curious to know. You talk about the five-year plan [Larry Ellison asked for]. Do you see yourself being here beyond that?

RAYMOND MOORE: I’m the last man standing, just like the show. (Laughter.) You know, I don’t think of those things in that way.

Firstly, I love what I’m doing. I’m passionate about it. I enjoy it. I get up in the morning – I like going to work. It’s fun.

I’ve got the most amazing staff in the world. You know, five division leaders. All have more than 15 years of tenure…They’re experts. I don’t have to teach them a single thing. They know their jobs better than I do. They do it well. There is no learning curve.

Steve Simon and I three years ago began putting a succession plan into place, and we are slowly doing that. We have brought in younger people into our operation. You go into the box office, you know, 80% of our box office, the people are under the age of 30. They’re all bilingual. In other departments we have done the same.

So Steve and I started that. We talked about it three years ago and we are doing it slowly. You’ll see them. You’ll see the young people that we now have on staff, and they are contributing in a big way.

So, yeah, hey, who knows? Who knows who the face of the tournament will be down the road. But I don’t think that, oh, I’m going to stop next year or three years.

And also there is another man [Larry Ellison] who makes some of those decisions that we will have to talk to.