DP World Tour announce new chief executive after Keith Pelley's departure

Keith Pelley's replacement has been named after the DP World Tour's departure from his role of chief executive was made official.

DP World Tour announce new chief executive after Keith Pelley's departure
DP World Tour announce new chief executive after Keith Pelley's departure

Keith Pelley's departure from the DP World Tour has been made official. 

A press release from the Tour confirmed the chief executive's exit on 11 January. 

The 60-year-old Canadian is returning to his homeland to become the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. 

Pelley has become the second leading golf administrator to step down from his role this week after it was announced Martin Slumbers will be leaving his role with the Royal & Ancient at the end of the year. 

Slumbers has been at the helm of the R&A for nine years whereas Pelley's tenure has lasted eight years. 

Pelley will be replaced by Guy Kinnings. Kinnings' current role is the executive director of the Ryder Cup. He will take up the role on 2 April. 

Whilst Pelley has led the Tour through the pandemic, introduced the Rolex Series and the G4D Golfers with a Disability Tour, the businessman has come under heavy fire from professional golfers and fans. 

To some, the DP World Tour is a far cry from the European Tour of old.

Pelley has been accused of turning the DP World Tour into an official feeder circuit for the PGA Tour through their 'strategic alliance'. 

One example of this is the initiative that awards the leading 10 players on the DP World Tour with PGA Tour cards. 

It is an accusation Pelley has vehemently denied, insisting the Tour was just making pathways official for routes that have always existed. 

"For me, the absolute priority as it has been every single day since I joined the Tour seven years ago, is to do what is best for the membership at large," Pelley said of this, describing the accusation as 'nonsense'.  

"And I strongly believe, emphatically believe, that is through our partnership with the PGA Tour."

He has also been criticised for his role in negotiating the framework agreement with LIV's backers, the PIF, and the PGA Tour without informing members of the DP World Tour. 

DP World Tour announce new chief executive after Keith Pelley's departure

Furthermore, Pelley has been criticised by some LIV Golf players. 

Richard Bland previously stated in one private meeting Pelley said he would have done the same thing as the golfer and accepted the lucrative opportunity to play in LIV events, only to then smear the players in public.  

In a memo that was leaked and published by FlushingIt on X, Pelley stated he was leaving with 'mixed emotions'. 

"This was an incredibly difficult decision," he wrote. "And not one I took lightly. But the chance to return to Canada and oversee one of my childhood, hometown sports teams was the one position in global sport that I simply could not turn down."

Pelley wrote that with Kinnings he will continue to negotiate with PIF and the PGA Tour over the next three months. 

Kinnings said of his new role: "It has been a privilege to work closely with Keith since I joined the Tour in 2018. He set out to transform the European Tour group, and unquestionably he has done that.
"It will be a huge honour to take on this role in April and I am immensely proud to have been given this responsibility. I will continue to work closely with Keith, Eric [Nicoli, chairman of the European Tour group] and the board over the next three months to ensure a seamless transition.
"I look forward to working with our players, staff and partners in the game, as well as our very impressive executive leadership and senior management teams, to continue to build upon everything our Tour has achieved in recent years."

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