Keith Pelley to leave DP World Tour as he agrees new role at MLSE

Keith Pelley will step away from his role as DP World Tour CEO to become president and chief executive of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 10 Jan 2024
Keith Pelley to leave DP World Tour as he agrees new role at MLSE

Keith Pelley will step away from his role as DP World Tour CEO after having agreed to become the president and chief executive of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), according to TSN. 

Pelley, who turns 60 on January 11, became just the fourth CEO in the 50-year history of the European Tour in September 2015.

The European Tour turned into the DP World Tour in 2022. 

Pelley is now set to leave the DP World Tour to join the parent company of the Maple Leafs, Raptors, TFC and Argonauts in his home nation of Canada. 

According to TSN, who broke the story late in the day on January 10, just hours before the start of the DP World Tour's first event of 2024, the deal could be officially announced before the end of the week. 

Pelley will succeed Michael Friisdahl, who was MLSE’s president and CEO from 2015-2022. 

MLSE chief financial officer Cynthia Devine has been MLSE’s acting CEO since Friisdahl’s departure.

GolfMagic has reached out to the DP World Tour for comment. 

Today's update on Pelley's future falls on the same day news broke that Martin Slumbers was stepping down from his role as the CEO of the R&A at the end of the season. 

Both of their pending exits come at a period in the game when the ongoing framework agreement between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf's bankrollers, the Saudi Public Investment Fund, has been extended through to the end of March 2024. 

Pelley told Golf Digest in November 2023: 

"The conversations we are having will be in the best interests of global golf and the best interests of the DP World Tour. I won’t comment on specific formats or seasons as all those conversations are confidential. But, as I’ve said internally, things have heated up since the Ryder Cup. Discussions have intensified."

Pelley's background should stand him good stead in his new role at MLSE.

Not just because of his eight-year stint at the European Tour, but because he was the former president of Rogers Media, which according to TSN, has "deep connections in Canada's sports business industry and extensive experience in media rights acquisitions, sponsorship negotiations, TV production, brand development and event management."

NBA's Raptors are understood to be worth in the region of $4 billion, with NHL’s Maple Leafs worth just over $2.5 billion. 

We will have more information on this story as we receive it. 

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