AUSTIN, Texas | PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem recently received a one-year contract extension but it’s his intention to step aside by the end of 2016, turning the leadership job over to Jay Monahan, the Tour’s chief operating officer.
Finchem’s contract was to expire June 1 but the extension will allow him to continue focusing on a handful of special projects, he said. Finchem has been commissioner since 1994.
“The length of the contract really is just a placeholder in terms of giving me a little more time to do some of the projects I’m engaged in now and I want to bring those forward,” Finchem said Sunday in a meeting with reporters. “I wouldn’t assume I would be in this job after the first of the year.
“The great news is our succession plan is working exceedingly well. Jay has been with us for eight years, which is longer than I was with the Tour before I became commissioner.”
Finchem said Monahan already handles the day-to-day operation of the Tour. The Tour’s board of directors will have to approve Monahan as the next commissioner but that is seen as a formality.
After he steps aside, Finchem said he has the option to work as a consultant for the Tour. He expects to remain heavily involved in The First Tee and World Golf Foundation grow-the-game initiatives.
“For every organization there is a time when it needs to morph,” Finchem said. “I could probably work another five or six years but I don’t think that’s the best thing for the organization.
“Young, aggressive leadership is good for a company. I don’t consider myself old (he will turn 69 in April) but I’m getting old. The main fact is Jay is ready.”
Finchem has led the Tour through an era of enormous expansion, negotiating broader and more lucrative television deals, embracing The First Tee initiative and creating the FedEx Cup playoffs, among other things.
His main objectives now are working with the World Golf Foundation to create more collaboration among the game’s various organizations, increasing the game’s global growth and expanding digital opportunities related to the Tour.
Monahan was executive vice president of Fenway Sports Group before becoming executive director of the Players Championship from 2008 to 2010. He has served in various capacities with the Tour including chief marketing officer and deputy commissioner before being named chief operating officer earlier this year.