Doug Hawken showed up at Ping in 1971, a 22-year-old fresh out of Arizona State University and looking for a job. Allan Solheim offered him one. "I’ll never forget what he wrote on my application," Hawken said: "‘This guy has potential.’"
Forty-five years later, a period that saw Hawken rise to the position of president and chief operating officer, he announced his retirement, effective Jan. 31, 2017. He will remain on the Ping board of directors.
Hawken's retirement "signals a transition that’s been in the works for some time,” said John Solheim, Ping chairman & CEO. “We’ve been preparing the third generation of the Solheim family to assume executive management roles for the last few years. Under my guidance, that process now moves forward. Our team is stronger and more collaborative than it’s ever been. I look forward to leading the next generation of executive management at Ping.”
At one time or another Hawken oversaw various departments within the club production and assembly areas, eventually earning the title of production manager. Under his leadership, Ping became the first and only U.S.-based golf equipment company to be certified by the International Organization for Standardization - a globally-recognized quality management system dependent on continuous improvement throughout an organization.
“I speak for the entire Solheim and Ping families when I say how extremely grateful we are for the impact Doug has had on the company in the last 45 years,” Solheim said. “His accomplishments are too long to list, but we all agree his leadership and contributions are evident company-wide."