Doug Hawken, PING Golf’s President and Chief Operating Officer, announced his retirement today, effective January 31, 2017. He will remain on the company’s Board of Directors.
Hawken has enjoyed a 45-year career that saw him advance from assistant to the production manager all the way to PING’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Known as one of the classiest men in the world of golf, the Rialto, Calif., native found his way in the door over four decades ago when he was just coming out of college.
“When I first showed up at PING in 1971 after graduating from Arizona State University, I was like most 22-year-olds at the time, unsure of my future but needing a job,” said Hawken. “I was blessed that Allan Solheim offered me a job. I’ll never forget what he wrote on my application: ‘This guy has potential.’ It turned into a 45-year journey that allowed me to work and share leadership responsibilities with Karsten and John Solheim, who empowered me to become more visible throughout the company and within the industry
Hawken has been the President and COO since 1999, and the retirement is of little surprise to those in the company. The Solheim family will assume executive leadership, according to its Chaiman and CEO, John Solheim.
“His retirement signals a transition that’s been in the works for some time,” Solheim added. “We’ve been preparing the third generation of the Solheim family to assume executive management roles for the last few years. Under my guidance, that process now moves forward. Our team is stronger and more collaborative than it’s ever been. I look forward to leading the next generation of executive management at PING.”
Hawken’s passion for quality manufacturing set him on a path that included overseeing various departments within the club production and assembly areas, eventually earning the title of Production Manager. Under his leadership, the company transitioned to lean manufacturing, which played a significant role in PING becoming the first and only U.S.-based golf equipment company to achieve ISO certification – a globally-recognized quality management system dependent on continuous improvement throughout an organization.