[lg policy] LPGA commissioner resigns after four years on the job. English-only language policy never implemented.

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 14 14:45:00 UTC 2009

Challenges facing acting LPGA head Evans

Juli Inkster, a Hall of Fame golfer, said Sunday that the LPGA needed
to find a leader who could "right the ship."
Less than 24 hours later, the LPGA's board of directors named Marsha
Evans, a retired Navy rear admiral, as acting commissioner while a
search committee finds a replacement for Carolyn Bivens.

BIVENS OUT: LPGA commissioner resigns after four years on the job "I'm
glad someone respects rank," said Evans, making a joke of Inkster's
comments. Evans, 61, was named to the association's board this year,
taking the role after a 30-year career in the Navy followed by senior
management jobs at the Girl Scouts and Red Cross. The LPGA also
appointed former star Annika Sorenstam as an adviser to the board of

"Any good organization has to have relationships," said Inkster, a
member of the LPGA's executive committee, seven players who along with
six non-players form the board of directors. "They take those
relationships and build on them. That's where we've been struggling."
Inkster praised Bivens — who was owed about $1 million for the final
18 months of a three-year extension she signed in 2008, according to
SportsBusiness Journal— for giving the organization confidence.
Supporters have credited her with securing ownership of the LPGA's own
major, implementing the first drug-testing program in pro golf and
signing new TV partnerships.

But Bivens, who took over in the fall of 2005, had a tenure that was
rife with controversy, including run-ins with the news media and a
highly criticized English language policy for international players.
It was never instituted. The biggest problem was that the tour has
lost seven tournaments in the last two years. That was the main
concern for a group of prominent players who wrote a letter last week
to the board calling for a change in leadership.

Evans said only 13 events are locked down for next year; there are 30
this season. One event that is questionable for 2010 is the Jamie Farr
Owens Corning Classic near Toledo, Ohio. Judd Silverman, the
tournament director, said LPGA management needs to create a new
business model that works for both the tour and the tournaments.

Silverman's tournament has a purse of $1.4 million, but Bivens planned
to raise fees on event costs, such as TV production.

"I don't know what we'll be able to do in 2010," he said. "We need to
determine what we can afford and move forward."

Evans is aware of the problem and says it is her first priority. She
said her point person on negotiations would be Zayra Calderon, the
executive vice president for tournament development and worldwide
sales. "Another priority," Evans said, "is rebuilding relationships
with our players."

Evans was CEO of the American Red Cross from 2002-05. She left there,
according to The Washington Post, after a steady deterioration of her
relationship with the Red Cross' board.

Bivens said in a statement she was proud of what the LPGA had
accomplished during her tenure.

"I love the LPGA and have been proud to serve as its commissioner,"
she said. "It is time to turn this organization over to someone who
can build on the solid foundation we've established."

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