Eleanor Cannon, a highly qualified director with an engrained passion for golf, heralds a fresh start for the sport after her appointment as the inaugural Chair of Scottish Golf Limited.
Following the historic decision to amalgamate the Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association (SLGA) into a single governing body for amateur golf in Scotland from 1 October, Eleanor will use her extensive strategic and commercial background to lead the new organisation in the non-executive Chair role for an initial three year term.
Succeeding the current Chairs of both governing bodies, Tom Craig (SGU) and Beth Paterson (SLGA), Eleanor, 50, will seek to lead the ongoing development of golf in Scotland and meet the challenges the sport faces.
With a very impressive CV, Eleanor offers considerable board experience within public and private companies, and has inspired and implemented change in challenging commercial and cultural environments.
After graduating from the University of St Andrews, Eleanor started her career with Marks & Spencer PLC, before serving nine years at Tesco PLC where she became a General Manager and then Global Head of Customer Service.
She joined Scottish & Newcastle PLC in 1997 and held various Board positions during a nine-year spell, latterly as Group HR and Corporate Affairs Director. Since 2008, she has run an Executive Coaching business that specialises in enabling Chief Executives and Managing Directors deliver change within their organisations.
Eleanor, who has also held Trustee and Director positions in five charities over the past 18 years, also has a strong golf background and pedigree, with her mother, Netta Matthew, and father, Rennie Matthew, past Ladies' and Club Captains at Ralston Golf Club and her father going on to become President of Glasgow Golf Union.
A former girls' champion at Ralston, Eleanor has been a member at various clubs wherever her work has taken her geographically in Scotland and is currently a member at Ranfurly Castle Golf Club in Renfrewshire.
In a joint statement, Tom and Beth said: “We are delighted that Eleanor has accepted the position of Chair of Scottish Golf Limited.
“She was the stand-out candidate amongst a high quality pool of applicants for the role. Eleanor is a very experienced and talented individual. The new unified governing body for Scottish amateur golf offers huge opportunities going forward. We are confident that Eleanor is the person to lead the body into a new and exciting era for golf in Scotland.”
Eleanor said: “I’m enormously proud to have been appointed as the new Chair of Scottish Golf Limited and look forward to this exciting opportunity.
“It’s a position of great responsibility and I’m determined to help meet the many challenges the game faces in Scotland, including providing greater support to our clubs and players and projecting golf as a modern, inclusive sport with a positive image to attract more players.
“I’m a proud and passionate golfer, proud of golf’s role in the history of sport in Scotland and passionate about the values and disciplines that it instils. I now look forward to the next three years with great optimism.”
The process to recruit a new Board of Directors for Scottish Golf Limited began in May, advertising as widely as possible for applicants for these vital roles through an independent HR consultancy. The new Chair will now be involved in the process to fill the eight other non-executive director positions, with appointments to be announced in due course.