Seth Waugh, a former Deutsche Bank Americas CEO, has been named CEO of the PGA of America. Waugh will guide the business and overall strategy of one of the world’s largest sports organizations, serving the association’s nearly 29,000 PGA professionals.
An independent director on the PGA of America board of directors, Waugh is completing a three-year term of service, during which the association was focused on a long-term strategic plan to serve PGA members and grow the game of golf.
Since 2017, Waugh has served as a senior adviser and then a managing director at Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing. He will continue as a senior adviser to the firm.
In 2016, he was appointed nonexecutive chairman of Alex. Brown following the sale of Deutsche Bank’s private client services division to Raymond James. Waugh also served in the management of Florida East Coast Industries in 2014.
“It is an honor and privilege to be invited to lead this remarkable association into its second century,” says Waugh. “Like so many, I share a passion for the game that has given so much to me and, in the process, has somehow become a huge influence in my life. The opportunity to work with the nearly 29,000 PGA professionals and others in the game to give back and to help our beautiful sport evolve is a true gift. I look forward to getting into the field to engage with our members, learn more about the issues that matter most to them, and look for ways to enhance their careers and lives. I am grateful for the trust that the officers and the board are showing in me. It will be exciting to see all the good that we can do together as an association and an industry.
“Leaving Silver Lake has been the hardest decision of my career, and I want to thank my partners for their support and commitment to excellence. There is a reason they are the best in the world at what they do.
“I am also grateful to my predecessor, Pete Bevacqua, for leaving the PGA in such strong shape, with a long-term strategic plan that will be the road map for our planning. Because of Pete’s good work and the work of the leadership team, the PGA Staff, the board and officers, and our sections, I take over at a time that allows us to optimize our impact — and put particular focus on how to add value to our dedicated members. I am truly grateful for the game of golf and this amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Previously, Waugh spent 13 years at Deutsche Bank, including 10 years as CEO of the Americas, overseeing an unprecedented time of growth for the bank in the region. He also served as chairman of the Deutsche Bank Americas Advisory Board, an external strategic advisory team conceived under his leadership. During this time, Waugh worked with the PGA Tour to create the former Deutsche Bank Championship (now the Dell Technologies Championship) in Boston.
“With Seth Waugh steering the PGA of America as our new CEO, we are gaining a leader who is respected across multiple industries for his vast strategic management experience and vision,” says PGA President Paul Levy. “Seth’s passion for PGA members and the game of golf — as demonstrated by his service on the PGA of America’s board — coupled with his global expertise in business will serve our members well.”
Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Waugh was CEO of Quantitative Financial Strategies. He also spent 11 years in various leadership positions at Merrill Lynch, culminating in the role of co-head of global debt markets. Earlier in his career, Waugh managed the corporate bond and international trading desks at Salomon Brothers.
Waugh serves on the board of Franklin Templeton Advisors and the advisory board of Workday Inc. He served on the FINRA board of governors until 2015. Waugh’s philanthropic endeavors have included serving on the boards of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation; YMCA of Greater New York; Multiple Sclerosis Society of Greater New York; Executive Committee of Partnership for New York City; St. Vincent’s Services of Brooklyn; Local Initiatives Support Corporation; and Harlem Village Academies. In addition, he has been president of the board of the Lawrenceville School and trustee at Wake Forest University.
Waugh holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and English from Amherst College. He and his wife, Jane, reside in North Palm Beach, Fla. Together, they have five children, one of whom, Clancy, played golf at Wake Forest and SMU, and is now trying his hand in the professional game.
Waugh succeeds Pete Bevacqua, who was recently named NBC Sports Group president. Waugh will officially start at the PGA Sept. 24. John Easterbrook Jr. will continue to serve as interim CEO until then.