Controversial Ladies European Tour chief 'leaves position'

Ivan Khodabakhsh

Controversial Ivan Khodabakhsh is no longer the CEO of the Ladies European Tour.

A statement released on the tour’s website on Wednesday said Khodabakhsh, who came to the helm ahead of the 2013 season, had ‘left his position’ with chairman Mark Lichtenhein taking over the reins.

It read: “Ivan Khodabakhsh is leaving his position as Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour.

“The board of the LET has asked its chairman, Mark Lichtenhein, to assume the day-to-day management of the business on an interim basis as the board reviews its current governance structure and business strategy.

“Under the board’s guidance, the executive management team will continue to support all its stakeholders and ensure the future direction of the tour.”

Khodabakhsh’s departure has come at what is currently a troubling time for the tour.

It was forced to issue a statement ‘strongly rejecting’ reports of a possible collapse in June after the cancellation of five events this season, with Catriona Matthew putting the cause of the tour’s struggles right at the door of Khodabakhsh.

Catriona Matthew

“I don't really play much in Europe but they have obviously been having their issues with the commissioner,” she said ahead of last week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open. “I think the product's there. They have got a lot of good players. It's just perhaps they have had the wrong person at the head, so hopefully if they can get that resolved, it can start building itself up again.”

English star Melissa Reid, who earned her LPGA Tour card for this season, echoed Matthew’s concerns when speaking to bunkered.co.uk at the Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links a week earlier.

“I don’t know what the situation is with our commissioner at the minute but something drastic needs to happen otherwise we’re not going to have a tour in a couple of years,” she said.

“It’s a shame the way the LET is going because players and staff have worked extremely hard to make it work. The way that it is at the minute, it’s a very sad situation and hopefully it’s not too far gone that it can’t be pulled back.”

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