One of the game's equipment giants shed itself of some size as Callaway Golf announced layoffs impacting some 250 employees worldwide (out of a total of 2,100 employees for an approximately 12-percent drop) across a wide swath of divisions. The workforce reduction was accompanied by an announcement of $52 million in cost-reduction initiatives.
In an exclusive interview with GolfDigest.com, Callaway CEO Chip Brewer said the changes were personally trying but necessary.
"If this surprised anybody, they weren't paying attention," Brewer said. "Before I came to Callaway, I knew, and everyone in the industry knew, that there was some level of cost-cutting to be done. It's very unpleasant but necessary. It keeps you up at night, but you have to do it.
"I didn't think it was going to be this extensive, to be candid. You have to assess the situation, and as you get further into it, you learn more. If you come in with those ideas predetermined, you're doing a disservice to the organization. But I wouldn't say we're excessively skinny. There's not a lack of resources here by any means."
Brewer said the layoffs affect workers across all levels of the organization, but with greater cuts coming domestically than internationally. While corporate support positions were among the most affected areas, research and development was among the least affected.
"I don't like to cut R&D," Brewer said. "I'm a big fan of the resources we have there. Relative to where we've been, we're going to do more with less. But we're very adequately staffed, the resources are strong, the brand is strong, and product-wise, the changes that we're making are directionally correct, and I'm very optimistic on that front."