Keeping It In The Family: PING Tags John K Solheim as New President
Ping has been a family run business since Karstem Solheim started the company in 1959. Solheim’s son, John A Solheim, is the current chairman and CEO. Recently, Ping announced Karsten’s grandson John K. as the new president of Ping. So how did John K Solheim earn this position?
John K Solheim Background
As a high school student, John (middle) spent his summers working in the Ping engineering department. After high school, he attended Arizona State University where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He continued his education earning an Executive MBA degree from ASU in 2001.
Upon returning to the company, he oversaw the company’s new product development as VP of engineering. His 4 years as president of Ping Golf Japan earned him valuable experience in marketing, operations, and sales. Solheim increased brand awareness while in Japan as well. His most recent position, as executive vice president, put the finishing touches on his knowledge and ability to succeed Doug Hawken as the president of Ping.
The Future For Ping
In a recent interview with Golf Digest, John K. mentioned that he felt they had an advantage in the growing desire for clubs custom built for the customer. Ping’s color code lie angle system puts them at the forefront of this trend. With a turnaround time of around 48 hours, Ping gets the clubs in the hands of their customers quickly.
John K. also mentions how being a family owned and run business has its advantages.
“We’re in it for the long run, not some short-term gain. What we’re doing is working and continues to work. We’ve been around since 1959, which now, is a pretty long time.”
– John K Solheim
As Ping continues in their decades-long family tradition, it will be interesting to see how they find ways to continue to innovate the golf industry. Time will tell what new directions they will find to improve equipment. We do know that the future is in (good) family hands.
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Rudi Fann has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2008. He began his career in 1998 as the Assistant Golf Professional at Wake Forest Golf Club in Wake Forest, NC. In 2002, Rudi accepted a similar position at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He spent a year there before moving to Nipomo, CA where he worked at Blacklake Golf Resort. Over the next 10 years, he worked his way from Assistant Golf Professional to Head Golf Professional and finally Director of Golf Operations. In his time at Blacklake, Rudi devoted much of his time to running tournaments and other activities in order to create a social atmosphere at the club. After Blacklake, Rudi spent one year as Head Golf Professional at Paso Robles Golf Club before deciding to return home to North Carolina. Since returning to North Carolina, Rudi has worked with the First Tee of the Triangle helping to instill life skills and core values through the game of golf to local youth.