And who are they trying to impress?
Well, for starters, Golf World's Ron Sirak who lauds Tim Finchem's hiring of Wie agent Ross Berlin for an unspecified job at an unspecified (and surely bloated) salary:
Tim Finchem must be a fan of the National Football League. The PGA Tour commissioner seems to have a personnel strategy favored by many NFL general managers going into the college draft: accumulate the best available athletes. That's the context within which to view the return of Ross Berlin to the tour after a year chaperoning Michelle Wie for the William Morris Agency. This was not an isolated move but rather part of a grand plan.
To prepare for the future, Finchem is staffing his ship with an impressive array of talent. In less than four years, he has hired Rick George from the Fore!Kids Foundation, Dave Pillsbury from Nike and Ty Votaw from the LPGA, as well as rehiring Berlin. Expect an announcement in the near future that several of these executives will take on expanded responsibilities.
In Berlin's case, we'll just take an announcement on duties before we make him the next commissioner.
Also in Finchem's burgeoning talent pool are Joe Barrow, who runs The First Tee, and co-Chief Operating Officers Charlie Zink and Ed Moorhouse, who have been long-time tour employees.
Of course, Finchem -- and the board, which will make the final decision --
Uh, the non-player portion...
can always take the route followed by any good NFL general manager not happy with his team. He can go outside the company for a high-priced free agent. But this much is obvious: Finchem is building an impressive team, for now and the future.
Look at how much this line of succession nonsense is costing (according to the October Golf Digest, but not posted online). All are 2004 salaries:
Tim Finchem $4,067,318
Charlie Zink $1,227,634 (co-COO)
Ed Moorhouse $1,227,634 (co-COO)
Ron Price CFO $742,049
Henry Hughes (Chief of Operations) $572,773
Bill Calfee (Nationwide Tour chief of operations) $513,518
Jeff Monday (tournament development) $486,409
Bob Combs, (VP Communications) $458,737
Rick Anderson (General Counsel) $345,648
Rick George (Valiant Competitors Tour) $322,269
Ruffin Beckwith (World Golf Foundation) $284,037
Sid Wilson (VP player relations) $256,112
And that doesn't include Votaw or Berlin's salaries.