Former IBM and Walmart executives bolster a stellar cast of independent directors; Alex comes in as a player director
NAPLES, Fla., Nov. 13, 2017 – Jon Iwata, senior vice president and chief brand officer with IBM, and Tom Schoewe, retired executive vice president and chief financial officer at Walmart, have been elected by the membership of the LPGA Tour as independent directors of the LPGA Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2018.
Also joining the Board next year is LPGA Tour player Marina Alex, a two-time NGCA First-Team All-American selection who is highly respected by her peers and will come in as a player director.
"Tom and Jon are accomplished global business leaders and they’ll be terrific additions to the LPGA Board,” said Roberta Bowman, the outgoing chair of the Board of Directors. "In addition to being thought leaders in disciplines important to the LPGA, they are fans of the LPGA and passionate about our commitment to provide opportunities for women professionals pursue their dreams in the game of golf.
"Marina Alex, a twice First-Team All-American at Vanderbilt University, is well liked and hugely respected by her fellow LPGA Tour members. She served on the LPGA Board's Nominating Committee in 2016 and helped vet candidates to comprise the slate. She will be a wonderful addition as a player director on the LPGA Board."
Iwata, who is responsible for stewardship of the IBM brand and its positioning as a global agenda-setter, is recognized as a leader in both the marketing and corporate communications professions. He is an inductee of the Marketing Hall of Fame, the CMO Club Hall of Fame and the Page Society Hall of Fame, which honors lifetime achievement in public relations and business communications.
Iwata joined IBM in 1984 at the company’s Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley. He was appointed senior vice president of communications in 2002, and then senior vice president of marketing and communications in 2008 before assuming his current role this year. His responsibilities at IBM embrace all its sports sponsorships, including its long-term sponsorship of the Masters Tournament.
"I'm excited and honored to join the LPGA Board of Directors," said Iwata. "The LPGA is unique, not only in the world of golf, but in all of sports. I look forward to contributing to the LPGA's continued success.”
Schoewe is a recognized financial leader with global perspective. He served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walmart Stores, Inc. from 2000 to 2011. Prior to that he worked for Black & Decker, where he served as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Always focused on the customer, Schoewe’s background also includes extensive operational, risk management, information technology and corporate development activities.
Schoewe currently serves on three public company boards: General Motors, Northrop Grumman and KKR Management LLC. These and previously held public company board positions make him well equipped to deal with a broad range of challenges and opportunities. He was involved with the creation of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, a premier stop on the LPGA tour.
"I am honored to serve on the LPGA board and extend a relationship that began with the establishment of the tournament in Arkansas," said Schoewe.
Alex, who as an amateur was twice named SEC Player of the Year while playing at Vanderbilt University, takes over as a player director from Mariajo Uribe, who will have served out her two-year term at the end of next month.
"I am very honored to have been selected by my fellow players as a player director for the next two seasons," said Alex. "I hope to represent the ladies' needs and interests the best I can, and to leave the LPGA in an even better place after my two years."