Golf’s Ladies European Tour (LET) has commenced a search for a new chief executive after announcing that Mark Lichtenhein will step down from the position.
Lichtenhein will depart at the end of his current term on September 30, following on from the weekend’s staging of the 2019 Solheim Cup which saw Europe defeat the United States at Gleneagles in Scotland.
Lichtenhein, who had previously served as a senior executive with the men’s European Tour, first became involved with the LET when he joined the board in November 2015 as a non-executive director, principally to advise on television and media strategy.
He was subsequently elected its non-executive chairman at the end of 2016 and was asked by the board to step in as executive chairman in August 2017. Lichtenhein stepped down from the board after the adoption of its new constitution at the end of 2018 and was asked by the new board to continue in his executive role through to the end of the current Solheim Cup cycle.
During his tenure, Lichtenhein has overseen a complete overhaul of the governance of the LET bringing it in line with best practice in the sports industry, reinvigorated the LET’s commercial programme and conducted a strategic review of the LET’s business.
Lichtenhein has also played a pivotal role in bringing new tournaments to the LET. This has included new LET and LET Access Series events in Spain, France and the Czech Republic in 2019, as well as new formats pioneered this year at the Jordan Mixed Open with the Challenge Tour and the Staysure Tour and under lights in Dubai at the Dubai Moonlight Classic.
The LET board has started a recruitment process for Lichtenhein’s successor, appointing SRI in London to conduct the search. The advert for the position states the LET is ambitious to add more events in future years, especially in Europe, adding that will remain a key focus along with increasing prize funds for members.
The new chief executive will be responsible for leading the LET’s involvement in future editions of the Solheim Cup, especially working with the next European host, which has yet to be decided, in 2023. Working with the LET’s commercial partners has also been cited as a key priority for the new leader.
In the interim, Alexandra Armas will take over as chief executive of the LET from October 1. Armas previously served as executive director and chief executive of the organisation from July 2005 to December 2012.
Marta Figueras-Dotti, chair of the LET, said: “There has been a significant transformation in the professionalism of the LET under Mark’s guidance. This has been a key stage in our development. I am delighted that Mark will always have a link to the Ladies European Tour as one of our honorary members.”