Olsavsky agrees to Cobra Puma R&D post

Tom Olsavsky

Tom Olsavsky

Golfweek has learned that Tom Olsavsky, director of product creation at TaylorMade Golf, has agreed to replace Tom Preece as vice president of research and development at Cobra Puma Golf. Both golf companies are located in Carlsbad, Calif.

The official announcement, coming from Bob Philion, president of Cobra Puma Golf, was made late Monday afternoon to Cobra Puma employees.

The 49-year-old Olsavsky is an engineer who became one of the most recognizable faces at TaylorMade. In recent months, he has served as one of the chief spokesmen for TaylorMade’s SLDR line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids.

Olsavsky is widely considered an expert in metalwoods. He was an integral part of the development of TaylorMade’s 300 series, as well as the company’s Burner series, R family of metalwoods, and most recently the SLDR project. He had worked for Titleist for five years before joining TaylorMade 17 years ago.

When Preece announced in September he would leave Cobra to join a startup business outside the golf industry, Cobra began an intensive search for a replacement.

In the end, the company found its new head of R & D just down the street in Carlsbad, Calif.

“Tom is an engineer who really knows golf,” Philion said. “His talents go very deep. We expect he will show his versatility in all our products.”

Olsavsky could not be reached for comment; he is expected to start his new duties on Nov. 1. Preece will stay at Cobra until the end of the year, so the two will work together during Olsavsky’s first two months.

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