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CEO departs as Ladies European Tour offers assurances over future direction

The Ladies European Tour (LET) has announced that Ivan Khodabakhsh is leaving his position as chief executive amid a period of uncertainty for the golf organisation.

Khodabakhsh (pictured) joined the LET in 2012, but the organisation has recently had to face questions over its long-term future. The LET’s board of directors last month rubbished speculation about the future of the golf tour as The Times newspaper reported that golfers had expressed their concerns after the Ladies European Masters became the fifth tournament of the season to be postponed.

The newspaper reported that a number of players were concerned about the financial predicament of the tour and claimed that the shortage of tournaments has made it difficult for them to earn a living.

Following Khodabakhsh’s departure, the LET said its chairman, Mark Lichtenhein, will assume the day-to-day management of the business on an interim basis as the board reviews its current governance structure and business strategy. The LET added in a statement: “Under the board’s guidance, the executive management team will continue to support all its stakeholders and ensure the future direction of the Tour.”

The National Club Golfer website said that during the course of this year seven tournaments have been removed from the LET’s original calendar. It added that as recently as Monday, players received an email saying that the Xiamen International Ladies Open in China had been cancelled due to a lack of funding and that the Qatar Ladies Open is unlikely to take place.

National Club Golfer added that Khodabakhsh did not attend the Scottish Open or British Open in recent weeks leading to speculation that he was on gardening leave.

The LET appointed Lichtenhein, a former senior executive with the men’s European Tour, as its new chairman in December.