Carolyn Bivens First Woman to Hold That Role at Pro Golf Association

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NEW YORK ( -- The president and chief operating officer of Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Initiative North America has been named commissioner-elect of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, the first woman to hold that role.
Carolyn Bivens is leaving IPG's Initiative to be commissioner of the LPGA.
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Carolyn Bivens will replace Ty Votaw, who announced his resignation in January. She assumes the role next month. A release from the LPGA said she was elected unanimously by the LPGA’s board of directors.

Was on 'USA Today' launch team
Ms. Bivens, 52, joined Initiative in 2000 as managing director of its western region. A year later she rose to her current role. Before joining the media agency, she had an 18-year career with USA Today and was part of the paper’s original launch team. For nine years, she held the role of senior vice president and associate publisher. Her career began at Xerox Corp., where she held a variety of sales and marketing positions.

“We know how excited Carolyn is for this unique opportunity,” said Initiative's global CEO, Alec Gerster, through a spokeswoman. “We’re very happy for her.”

Changes at Initiative
The spokeswoman said the agency has no immediate plans to replace her, pointing to “a strong management team” already in place and the arrival of new Interpublic media chief Mark Rosenthal, who began work this month. The move comes at a crucial time for Initiative, which is currently looking for a new global chairman, following the ouster of Marie-Jose Forissier earlier this year.

The LPGA is currently enjoying significant growth and increased media exposure, especially since the rise of Annika Sorenstam, the ladies tour’s equivalent of Tiger Woods.

Ms. Bivens, described as an avid golfer, now lives in Los Angeles but will transition to Daytona Beach, Fla.

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