Callaway hires Adams' Brewer as CEO

Chip Brewer

Hoping to regain its leadership position in the equipment marketplace, Callaway Golf Co. announced Feb. 27 the appointment of Chip Brewer as president and chief executive officer.

The selection ends an eight-month search to fill the top post at Callaway, which had been led on an interim basis since June by board member Tony Thornley. He will continue to serve on the board of directors upon his resignation March 5, which coincides with the effective date of Brewer's appointment.

Widely rumored at the PGA Merchandise Show a month ago, the selection of Brewer now is reality and validates the turnaround and growth he engineered as president and CEO of Adams Golf. He joined the Plano, Texas-based company in 1998 and was promoted to serve as its chief in 2002, leading its transformation from essentially a one-hit wonder – the Tight Lies fairway wood – into a diversified equipment company.

Now, he'll be challenged with a far bigger task: restoring the luster to one of golf's most iconic brands.

Said Ronald S. Beard, Callaway's board chairman: "Chip has extensive knowledge of all facets of the golf business, particularly in the sales and marketing area, and has a real passion for the game of golf. Chip… has done a great job turning around and leading Adams Golf. We believe he is the right leader to entrust with our valuable brands, and the board looks forward to working with him to restore profitability and increase shareholder value."

Added Thornley: "I believe that he has the insight and ability to build upon (Callaway's strengths) and have an immediate impact upon the company and its recovery."

Callaway endured a difficult 2011, posting net sales of $886.5 million, down from $967.7 million in 2010. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based manufacturer also reported a net loss of $171.8 million in 2011 compared with a net loss of $18.8 million in 2010.

"Having been around golf my entire life, I know Callaway and its products very well, and I am very excited about joining such an iconic company and being part of its great heritage," Brewer said. "There is a lot of opportunity ahead for Callaway, and I look forward to working with the board and senior management team to build upon the strength of its brands…"

Brewer, who has an undergraduate degree in economics from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from Harvard University, has long been involved in the game and is a member of Pine Valley Golf Club.

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