Three weeks after Ty Votaw announced he will resign as LPGA commissioner at the end of the year, the search for his replacement is taking shape – with one top prospect already pulling her name from consideration.
Members of the nine-person search committee already have interviewed several independent search firms and hope to reach an agreement with one in the next few weeks. When that time comes, the committee will give the firm a concrete job description, a strategic plan and all resumes that have been collected since Votaw’s announcement. The firm will be entrusted to investigate all names that the committee may suggest.
“We want to make sure we do this correctly,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, LPGA president and co-chair of the search committee. “Our goal is to do a nice, thorough job to find the right person. I have no doubt we’ll find someone exceptional.”
Daly-Donofrio said numerous resumes have been received. Though the names of those who have submitted resumes remain confidential, Donna Orender, Cindy Davis, Ruth Ann Marshall, Teri Wagner and Heidi Ueberroth have been mentioned as possible Votaw replacements.
Davis, U.S. general manager for Nike Golf and a former LPGA executive, told Golfweek that she will not pursue the job, saying: “In the course of a conversation (with an LPGA board member), I was asked if I’d consider the opportunity. I respectfully declined. I’m at Nike Golf and I’m excited about my future here.”
Marshall, president of the Americas for MasterCard International, is an avid golfer who spent last week competing in the Champions Tour’s MasterCard Championship pro-am in Hawaii.
Marshall, who is on the First Tee’s board of directors and was named to Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, told Golfweek she was “pleasantly surprised” to see her name linked to the LPGA’s opening, but is happy where she is.
“All I would say is that obviously I’d be honored just to be considered for something so prestigious,” she said. “But I’m very gainfully and very happily employed, and I have a lot more to do at MasterCard. I have a great job where I am.
“Ty Votaw has done a fabulous job as commissioner and he’s left some big shoes to fill. There are a number of qualified people for the position and it would be very refreshing to see a woman in that role.”
Wagner, vice president of programing for ABC, declined through a spokesman to comment, citing ABC policy. Ueberroth, executive vice president of NBA Entertainment, also declined comment. And a PGA Tour spokesman said Orender – the Tour’s senior vice president of strategic development – wouldn’t comment about the LPGA post.
– Staff reports