The European Tour Group - which administers the DP World Tour, Challenge Tour, Legends Tour, G4D Tour and the Ryder Cup in Europe - is delighted to announce the appointment of Eric Nicoli CBE as the new Chair of its Board of Directors.
A seasoned manager of global businesses, Nicoli was initially appointed to the Board as a Senior Independent Director in March 2019 before assuming the position of Vice Chair in September 2021.
He becomes only the third Chair in the Tour’s 50 year history, taking over from the previous incumbent David Williams who stepped down at the end of last year in accordance with the Board’s rotational system; one of the many best practices of corporate governance he himself introduced in his time as Chair which began in January 2014.
Prior to that, the role had been held by World Golf Hall of Fame member and renowned Tour professional Neil Coles for 38 years from 1975 to 2013.
Eric Nicoli said: “I’m honoured and excited to succeed David Williams as Chair of the European Tour Group. I want to pay tribute to David who, in his nine years in the position, has transformed the management and governance of the Group and leaves it in excellent shape.
“I look forward to working with the Board, Keith Pelley and our exceptionally talented team as well as our many partners around the world, to continue to build all of our Tours for the benefit of all of our members. This is a pivotal time for our sport and we intend to grasp the opportunities before us to participate in the development of the definitive global golf Tour.”
Born in England to Italian parents, Eric Nicoli has extensive experience of building boards and management teams, in addition to a wide-ranging understanding and know-how in dealings with governments, regulatory authorities and all constituencies in the financial and adviser community.
After gaining a First Class (Honours) degree in physics from King’s College, London, he entered industry in 1972 and spent the early part of his career in marketing and strategic planning roles within the food industry.
He then moved into general management, heading a number of divisions of United Biscuits plc, a leading food manufacturer, before being appointed Group Chief Executive in 1991. In 1999, he moved to EMI Group plc, one of the world’s leading music companies, to become Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Since departing EMI in 2007 on the sale of the company, he has been non-executive Chairman of a number of private equity owned companies, start-ups and early stage businesses in the leisure, entertainment, social media, technology and financial services sectors.
His non-executive experience included being Chairman of The Tussauds Group Ltd (Leisure attractions), Vue Entertainment Ltd (Cinemas), Ulysses Enterprises Ltd (uSwitch) and YS Topco Ltd (Japanese food retailing) as well as Senior Independent Director of Greencore Group plc. He is currently Chairman of Centtrip Holdings Ltd and Bella Figura Music Ltd.
He has also been a freelance coach and mentor to senior executives in a range of businesses and a regular public speaker. Throughout his career, he has been actively involved with a wide range of community and charitable organisations. Married with four children, he is a sports, music and food enthusiast.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour Group, said: “Ever since Eric joined our Board in 2019, his background in international business combined with his wide ranging Board experience have proved to be of immense value to us.
“Since I became CEO in 2015 I have been very fortunate, personally, to have had the wise guidance and counsel of David Williams every step of the way and I cannot thank him enough for that.
“I am, however, extremely fortunate, as is everyone at the European Tour Group, to have someone of the calibre and experience of Eric Nicoli to take his place. We very much look forward to the future with Eric at the helm.”
The European Tour Group is the overarching corporate brand which administers competition brands: the DP World Tour, the Challenge Tour, the Legends Tour, the G4D Tour and, along with the PGA of America, is the Managing Partner of golf’s greatest team contest, the Ryder Cup.
In 2023, both the DP World Tour and the Challenge Tour will have record prize funds for their global schedules, with the Legends Tour set to announce its expansive 2023 schedule later this month.
The European Tour Group’s main Tour became the DP World Tour at the start of the 2022 season – coinciding with the Tour’s 50th anniversary – following its landmark title partnership with DP World as part of an evolution to DP World’s long-term partnership with the Tour group.