Golf’s Asian Tour has announced a major shake up of its Board of Directors following the resignation of its chief executive Mike Kerr, amid uncertainty surrounding a proposed merger with the European Tour.
Asian Tour chairman Kyi Hla Han of Myanmar will act as interim Tour Commissioner, while four new non-player Board members have been appointed.
It comes less than a month after Kerr left his position, which had been in doubt following an Asian Tour players' meeting at the Macau Open in October.
Golfers voiced their concerns about the Irishman’s handling of the potential merger, fearing it would lead to diminished playing opportunities and being usurped by the more powerful European Tour.
"Han, who sits on the Board of Directors, will be entrusted to lead the Tour’s executive management, focusing on the continued growth of the Asian Tour while enhancing the playing opportunities for its members," read an Asian Tour statement.
The Asian Tour has yet to make any public comment about Kerr’s departure but the statement also confirmed that Emmet Hsu, Enrique K. Razon Jr, Jimmy Masrin and Jaturon Zane Himathongkom have joined the Board of Directors.
Taiwan’s Hsu is chairman of the Yeangder Group, which sponsors the Asian Tour’s $500,000 (£341,000/€465,000) Tournament Players Championship.
Razon Jr, meanwhile, chairs the Philippines’ port-handling giant International Container Terminal Services Inc., which sponsored last month’s $300,000 (£204,000/€279,000) Philippines Open.
Masrin, President and chief executive of Indonesian chemicals and mining firm PT Caturkarsa Megatunggal, and Himathongkom, sports marketing director for Thai brewing giant Singha Corporation, complete the foursome.
"The quartet are prominent businessmen and industry leaders in their respective countries, avid golfers and have the desire and vision to grow the Asian Tour, which is the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia," read the statement.
Among those to lose their seats as part of the changes is former European Tour chief executive Ken Schofield, a member of the Board since 2011.
Also departing are Hong Kong-based Canadian businessman Rick Siemens, appointed in 2005, and Gautam Thapar, founder of India’s Avanthar Group.
Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing, who was reported to be in favour of the merger with Europe, is one of three playing directors to stand down along with Singapore-based Australian Scott Barr and Thailand's Boonchu Ruangkit.
"The current Player Members on the Board of Directors are Jeev Milkha Singh (India) and Zhang Lian-wei (China)," added the statement.
"Two more Player Members will be nominated onto the Board of Directors by the Tournament Players Committee in due course."