LIV Golf representatives are denying a report that CEO and commissioner Greg Norman may be moving to a different role, with a former golf company executive taking over his duties as chief executive.
The Telegraph has reported that former TaylorMade CEO Mark King has been discussed as a possibility for the role of CEO, with Norman to be moved “upstairs”.
King became chairman of TaylorMade in 1999 and in 2014 became chairman of Adidas Group. He is currently CEO of Taco Bell Corporation.
A spokesperson for LIV Golf denied the report and said a statement was forthcoming.
Norman, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who has won two major championships and more than 80 world tournaments, has been with LIV Golf since June 2021.
He was announced as CEO of LIV and commissioner of what was to be a new league in October 2021, overseeing the launch of an eight-tournament series this year which has seen Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Cam Smith and several other top champions accept guaranteed money to leave the PGA Tour.
It will become the LIV Golf League with a calendar of 14 tournaments in 2023.
But Norman has been criticized for his handling of some issues, including downplaying human rights issues associated with Saudi Arabia, LIV Golf’s benefactors. He was also combative at times, as he pushed for his league to get World Ranking points.
For years, Norman has pushed for the freedom of players, with the right to compete outside the PGA Tour minimums wherever and whenever they choose. The PGA Tour requires its members to play 15 events and also agrees to get releases to play contentious tournaments around the world.
In 1994, Norman tried to start a World Golf Tour with the support of Fox Sports, a company similar to LIV which would have seen limited-field, high-budget tournaments. The PGA Tour and then Commissioner Tim Finchem fought it effectively.
On a conference call last week after the end of the LIV golf season, Norman said, “LIV is just getting started. From my perspective, it was a hell of a year, a hell of a season, a hell of a launch. I don’t think any new sports league in its first year has accomplished as much as LIV Golf has accomplished.
Offseason plans for LIV, including the possibility of signing new players, announcing its 2023 schedule, seeing the movement of players among its teams, securing some sort of network television deal, and research continues to earn world ranking points.