Virginia Water, England (SportsNetwork.com) – George O’Grady, the chief
executive of the European Tour, has announced his intention to step down.
O’Grady has been with the tour for over 40 years, and has been the chief
executive since 2005. He will remain in place until his successor takes
Since the creation of the European Tour in 1971, O’Grady was just the third
chief executive. He followed John Jacobs and Ken Schofield, who led the tour
from 1975 to 2005.
“In the aftermath of what I believe to have been the best presented Ryder Cup
since my first involvement in the contest at Royal Lytham in 1977, I felt this
was the right time to ask the Board (of Directors) to begin the search for my
successor,” O’Grady said in a statement Wednesday. “It is my firm belief that,
coming towards the end of what has been another incredibly successful season,
we are now seeing the green shoots of recovery across Europe and I am pleased
that this coincides with all our building blocks, in terms of key television
and sponsorship contracts, being in place.
“I have agreed with the Board to stay not only for the time it takes to
appoint a new CEO, but also for sufficient additional time after that to see
them properly settled in. The Board also agreed that, at that stage, I will
take up a role as President of International Relations which will see me
represent The European Tour through the Olympic Games in 2016.”
O’Grady led the implementation of the Race to Dubai and the Finals Series, and
also helped the process of reinstating golf into the Olympics.