SBJ/October 10-16, 2011/Game Changers
Game Changers: Jane Geddes
Published October 10, 2011, Page 4A
VP, Talent Relations
Jane Geddes built a career with the LPGA, first as a player — winning two major championships — and then as an executive. Starting in 2006 as an intern, she worked her way up to be named senior vice president of tournament operations and player services in January 2008. She brought to that post her perspective as a former player, understanding the athletes’ concerns and working to reform procedures on their behalf. She served as the LPGA’s representative during the ultimately successful initiative to include golf in the 2016 Olympics. She also spearheaded the implementation of a new on-site scoring system used at tournaments, as well as the league’s new qualifying requirements.
Now, she’s shifting gears, taking on a new challenge with a new organization: the WWE. Geddes was scheduled to begin her new path this month, bringing with her the knowledge and experience she gained at the LPGA to help a new group of athletes, with a focus on sports and entertainment.
- First job: McDonald’s cashier and burger flipper.
- What is the best advice you’ve ever received?: When I first started working at the LPGA, Libba Galloway (then general counsel) gave me a one-word piece of advice: listen. I am not sure I will ever fully succeed at doing so, but I know that I work hard at it every day.
- In 10 words or less, how would you describe your management style?: Anti-micro-managing team player who expects 100 percent in return.
- Woman in sports business you’d most like to meet: Heidi Ueberroth. Heidi has transcended any gender bias by succeeding in a sports landscape that has been decidedly male-dominated for many years.
- The biggest challenge I face working in the sports business is …: The preconceived notion that my past life as an athlete diminishes my ability to work and succeed in the business of sports and entertainment.
- One attribute I look for when hiring is …: Whether that person has a personality that will mesh with my team.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
“Jane is one of the rare athletes that was able to parlay her success in her sport to being a respected business executive. [She] has always had tremendous drive and passion for whatever she is doing. I have always respected that.”
- Mark Steinberg, partner, Excel Sports Management