PGA chief Pete Bevacqua takes NBC role
By DOUG FERGUSON
Jul. 24, 2018
Pete Bevacqua, who was behind the move of the PGA Championship to May and who oversaw a restructure of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, is leaving after six years to become president of NBC Sports Group.
NBC announced Tuesday that Bevacqua has been hired for a new role. He will oversee areas such as programming, marketing, digital properties, regional networks and all the golf business under the NBC umbrella, which includes Golf Channel.
Bevacqua plans to leave the PGA of America on Aug. 13, a day after the PGA Championship at Bellerive in St. Louis. In a letter to the PGA's 29,000 members, President Paul Levy said John Easterbrook would serve as interim CEO. Easterbrook is the chief membership officer for the PGA of America.
NBC said Bevacqua starts his new job in September and will report to Mark Lazarus, the chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports.
"With the expansion of NBC Sports Group over the last seven years, and our continuing investments in new and existing businesses, adding Pete to our already strong management team will help us organize for future growth," Lazarus said. "We are thrilled to have someone with his experience and reputation join our organization."
Bevacqua spent 11 years at the USGA as an attorney, managing director of the U.S. Open and as the chief business officer. He left in 2011 to join CAA Sports before the PGA of America hired him as chief executive in 2012.
Following a Ryder Cup loss to Europe in 2014 at Gleneagles in Scotland, Bevacqua was part of the group that gave PGA Tour players more control of how the team is selected and who serves as captain.
Last year, he pushed through the PGA Championship moving from August to May, a key component to the PGA Tour ending it season before the start of football next year.
"The opportunity to join NBC Sports Group ... was too good to be true," Bevacqua said. He also thanked the PGA of America for "the best six years of my life."
Bevacqua developed two strong relationships during his time with the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour. The tour was created 50 years ago by splitting from the PGA of America, and relationships had been strained until a partnership was created a few years ago. He also worked with LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan in helping run the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at stronger courses.
"With the PGA of America well-positioned for continued success, Pete departs with our gratitude and best wishes for continued success in this new chapter at NBC Sports," Levy said in a statement.