3 top executives exit LPGA
By JAY A. COFFIN
The LPGA continues to lose top-level executives at an alarming rate.
Liz Ausman, chief strategic officer; Deb Richard, senior vice president of golf; and Julie Tyson, vice president of partnerships, turned in their resignations June 7, a day before the start of the McDonald's LPGA Championship, the tour's second major championship.
Ausman and Richard have left the tour immediately. Tyson will stay with the LPGA for two more weeks.
The announcement means seven of the LPGA's highest-ranking officers have left since Carolyn Bivens took over as commissioner in September.
Kathy Milthorpe, executive vice president and chief financial officer, left the LPGA in September after 17 years to take an executive position with the International Speedway Corp. Barb Trammell, senior vice president of tournament operations, abruptly resigned in October after 20 years with the LPGA and Rob Neal, vice president of tournament business affairs, left in December to take over as executive director of Tournament Golf Foundation Inc. Karen Durkin, the tour's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, left in February after 11 years to assume a role with the National Hockey League as executive vice president of communications and brand strategy.
The latest news is strange because Ausman and Richard were hired by Bivens. Richard began her post in November and was a replacement for Trammell. Ausman was hired in February.
Richard, Ausman and Turner could not be reached immediately for comment.
A tour-released statement by Bivens had little to do with the staff changes: "Given the LPGA's incredible mix of talent, diversity and personalities, now is the time to take this organization to new heights. While we change the business model in order to better monatize our success, fans can continue to expect the very best in women's professional golf. We're committed to collaborating with all of our key constituents to create a stronger LPGA.
"As women's golf continues to grow and the popularity of the LPGA skyrockets, our organization will continue to evolve. We wish Liz, Deb and Julie success in their future endeavors."
LPGA officials said Bivens would not comment further. The LPGA said no replacements would be immediately announced and did not know the future job status of the three.