UPDATE: LIV Golf denied a report that it’s preparing to replace Greg Norman as chief executive officer.
“Greg Norman is our CEO and Commissioner. Any suggestion that changes are being made to Greg’s title or role is patently false,” said Majed Al Sorour, managing director of LIV Golf, in a statement.
PREVIOUS: Greg Norman has feuded with PGA Tour legends ranging from Rory McIlroy to Jack Nicklaus. LIV Golf could be looking to shift Norman into a less public-facing role, according to a report by The Telegraph.
Norman could be “moved upstairs” in favor of a new CEO. The report points to Mark King, the current CEO of Taco Bell, and former CEO of golf equipment giant TaylorMade. The Saudi-backed challenger to the PGA Tour is pursuing King, who attended multiple LIV Golf events this year, said the Telegraph.
But another source told Front Office Sports the King story is not true. Norman has a long-term contract with LIV, added the source. The upstart golf tour could address the report as soon as Thursday night.
King helped drive TaylorMade’s business success and is known as a creative thinker. Hiring a mainstream CEO like King could lower the temperature in the feud that’s dividing the golf industry — and help LIV secure advertisers and its first U.S. media rights deal.
“In addition to driving sales and pushing his R&D teams — TaylorMade debuted adjustable weights in drivers, white-crowned drivers and multiple driver releases under his leadership — King was a champion of broadening the appeal of golf and taking it in new directions,” wrote Golfweek.
“In early 2014, King pushed TaylorMade to donate $5 million to an initiative called Hack Golf which advocated for courses to consider adding 15-inch holes to greens to make the game easier for beginners.”
AJ Perez contributed to this report.