Gear & EquipmentJune 29, 2011

Callaway CEO George Fellows resigns

After nearly six years as president and CEO of Callaway Golf,. George Fellows resigned from that post today citing personal reasons. Tony Thornley, a member of Callaway's board of directors since 2004, was named interim president and CEO. Until his appointment today, Thornley, 65, served as chair of the audit committee of Callaway's board and was the company's designated "financial expert."

"Tony Thornley has a deep knowledge of Callaway's business and the steps we must take to improve results going forward," said Ron Beard, Callaway's chairman of the board. "He brings decades of experience, including the financial and managerial skills and discipline to execute on our immediate priorities and to lead a transition to new leadership as the company charts a path for the future. As an avid golfer with a low single-digit handicap, he also brings passion for what we do."

Callaway also concurrently announced preliminary results for the second quarter which included revenues of $270 million and an expected net loss of $55 million (including $48 million of noncash charges). Callaway also announced reorganization measures including expected reduction in headcount at all levels of the organization. Callaway's stock price closed at $6.33 a share today, more than 50 percent off the $13.64 share price when Fellows took over, and about a third of the $19.25 mark it reached in July 2007--the highest it reached in Fellows' six years at the Callaway helm. Callaway has led the Golf DIgest Hot List in number of products earning medals in each of the last five years.

"While it is clear that it was the global economic recession that derailed our record sales and earnings pace, it is also clear that our business is not keeping pace with the industry recovery," said Thornley. "It is therefore necessary for the company to take immediate and aggressive actions to reduce costs in order to return the company to profitability as quickly as possible."

(Discuss this story at Golfwrx.com.)

--E . Michael Johnson and Mike Stachura

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