Golf’s European Tour Group has appointed Eric Nicoli as its new chair.

Nicoli, currently the organization’s vice chair, was initially appointed to the European Tour’s board in March 2019 as a senior independent director. He ascended to the vice chair role in September 2021.

Nicoli will replace the previous chair David Williams, who stepped down from that role at the end of 2022. Williams had himself taken the role in January 2014. The chair before Williams, Neil Coles, held that position for 38 years up until 2013.

Nicoli is best known for having been chair of the leading music record firm EMI Group between 1991 and 2007.

Since leaving EMI in 2007 upon the sale of the company, he has been non-executive chairman of several private equity-owned companies, startups, and early-stage businesses in the leisure, entertainment, social media, technology, and financial services sectors.

Aside from his European Tour Group position, he is also currently chair of Centtrip Holdings and of Bella Figura Music.

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The European Tour Group is an umbrella organization that oversees the DP World Tour (so-named for sponsorship reasons), the Challenge Tour, the Legends Tour, the G4D Tour, and the Ryder Cup teams competition when it takes place on European soil.

Nicoli has now said: “I want to pay tribute to David who, in his nine years in the position, has transformed the management and governance of the Group and leaves it in excellent shape.
“I look forward to working with the board, Keith Pelley, and our exceptionally talented team as well as our many partners around the world, to continue to build all of our Tours for the benefit of all of our members. This is a pivotal time for our sport and we intend to grasp the opportunities before us …”

Keith Pelley, the European Tour Group’s chief executive, added: “Ever since Eric joined our board in 2019, his background in international business combined with his wide-ranging board experience has proved to be of immense value to us.
“Since I became chief executive in 2015 I have been very fortunate, personally, to have had the wise guidance and counsel of David Williams every step of the way and I cannot thank him enough for that.

“I am, however, extremely fortunate, as is everyone at the European Tour Group, to have someone of the caliber and experience of Eric Nicoli to take his place. We very much look forward to the future with Eric at the helm.”

In mid-December, Pelley was appointed as chair of the International Golf Federation for the next four years.

He is replacing Jay Monahan, commissioner of US golf’s PGA Tour, who has been the IGF’s chair since 2016.