Mike Whan will be the next CEO of the United States Golf Association. The official appointment will take effect in summer 2021, with Whan replacing Mike Davis.
Mike Whan, new role
In September 2020 Davis announced plans to leave the USGA to pursue his greatest passion: designing golf courses.
Last January, however, Whan resigned as commissioner of the LPGA, the leading American women's golf circuit. A decision that took everyone by surprise and now finds explanations. Whan shared his decision with LPGA staff, Members and sponsors in a letter, including the following messages.
“When I first joined the LPGA, I told the Board it would be a four-year term, giving me time to help the organization achieve its immediate goals. Now, as the longest-serving LPGA Commissioner, I look back on these 11 years with enormous pride and satisfaction at what we’ve accomplished together to provide opportunities for women to achieve their dreams in golf.
You may be wondering why I’ve made the decision to step down – and why now? In many ways, this past year – with all the pandemic challenges – was also the LPGA’s most triumphant. We are entering 2021 on a wave of momentum – a strong schedule with record purses, new events/sponsors, double-digit viewership growth, and a talented team that demonstrated exceptional skill, resilience and capability to lead through challenging times.
“I simply wouldn’t leave the LPGA if I thought the future was uncertain or not trending straight up. In fact, even after the challenges we faced in 2020, the LPGA has NEVER been more financially secure, deeper in leadership talent, or more anchored by passionate, diverse sponsors from all around the world.
The LPGA is poised for even greater heights; and as such, I’m excited to hand the baton to the next leader and become their biggest supporter. “One of the hardest jobs of a leader is to know when their work is done.
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" LPGA Board Chair Diane Gulyas commented on Mike Whan decision. "Mike has been a transformational leader of the LPGA and we’ve been fortunate to retain him for 11 years.
When he told of me of his intention to step down this year, I had two reactions: First, can we persuade him to stay? And, when that wasn’t possible, to fully respect his decision and begin a seamless transition"