FLORIDA: Mike Whan is stepping down after 11 years as commissioner of the LPGA.
Whan, 55, notified the LPGA board of directors and shared his decision Wednesday in a letter to the LPGA staff, members and sponsors. No firm date has been set, but the search process for a successor will begin immediately.
“One of the hardest jobs of a leader is to know when their work is done,” he wrote. “If the COVID-19 pandemic taught me anything, it was that the LPGA executive staff has full control of our business and is capable of incredible things. We have leaders who are visionary, compassionate, collaborative and humble. You may not agree with every decision they make, but they have led our Tours to new heights virtually every year.”
Whan started the job on Jan. 4, 2010. He is the longest-serving commissioner in the history of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
“Mike’s leadership legacy will be felt for years: in the LPGA’s financial strength and value proposition; in its global reach; in the breadth of programs and services it now offers for women and girls in golf; and in the diversity and quality of companies wanting to partner with the LPGA,” said LPGA board chair Diane Gulyas in a news release.
Vickie Goetze-Ackerman, the LPGA Tour’s player president, said Whan was “the right leader at the right time.”
“He rebuilt the Tour – and then reimagined its future – by bringing new events, new sponsors and a new value proposition around diversity and inclusion to the LPGA,” Goetze-Ackerman said. “He has that rare ability to get people of all ages and backgrounds excited and on board with his vision. We’re grateful for his leadership over these 11 years and know he’ll remain an advocate for the LPGA long after he departs.”
Gulyas said the board will establish a transition committee and will consider candidates from the LPGA’s executive staff as well as from outside the organization.
“It’s clear the LPGA today is a very different Association than the one Mike joined in 2010,” Gulyas said. “Our commitment to the LPGA – and all of our stakeholders – is to find the right leader to guide the Association through this next chapter in its storied history.”
Before becoming the eighth commissioner of the LPGA, Whan worked for Procter & Gamble, Wilson Sporting Goods, TaylorMade Golf Company, Britesmile Inc. and Mission Hockey. – Field Level Media