The appointment of a new chief executive at IBM has revived the debate over Augusta National’s all-male membership just one week before the Masters.
IBM hired Virginia Rometty as its CEO this year, which could mean a break in recent tradition for either side. The last four CEOs of IBM have been members of Augusta, but the club has never had a female member since it was founded in 1933.
Martha Burk led an unsuccessful campaign 10 years ago for Augusta to admit a female member. Hootie Johnson, chairman at the time, said the club would not be pressured “at the point of a bayonet.”
Burk says Augusta National and IBM now are in a bind. She says IBM could end up undermining its new CEO if it doesn’t fight for her admittance.