Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY) yesterday announced a realignment of its key sales, advertising, marketing and product management operations, a move that includes the promotion of two long-time leaders in the golf industry. Research and development guru Richard C. Helmstetter, Callaway Golf’s chief of new products, has agreed to expand his duties and assume leadership of the company’s product management function, which was established earlier this year.
Said Mr. Drapeau, “The new product management function has been working well, and is already paying dividends in the delivery of great new products, on time, to the market. By asking our most senior executive — who also happens to be a genius when it comes to creating golf clubs and balls — to oversee this function, we have recognized just how important it is for the future of the Company. I cannot imagine a better person in the golf industry to lead us in this area.”
The company also promoted Patrice Hutin, who will move from his position as president of Callaway Golf Europe Ltd (Callaway Golf’s wholly-owned European subsidiary) back to the United States as executive vice president of global sales and advertising. In this newly created position, Mr. Hutin will be responsible for the company’s sales, advertising and marketing programs, globally, and will report to Mr. Drapeau. Mr. Hutin has spent more than 18 years in the golf industry, having served as president of both Cleveland Golf and Taylor Made Golf before joining Callaway Golf in 2000. Michael W.McCormick, who had served as head of global sales since joining the company in 2000, will be leaving the company to pursue other goals.
“We are very fortunate to have someone with Patrice’s level of global experience to guide our consolidated selling efforts worldwide,” Mr. Drapeau said. “Patrice has done an outstanding job as head of our European subsidiary, and the heads of all our subsidiaries in the U.S., Japan, Europe, Canada, Australia and Korea will benefit from his wealth of experience and his extensive current knowledge of the worldwide marketplace.”
Mr. Drapeau continued, “By making these organizational changes, we have taken two men with a combined 35 years of golf industry experience and put them into positions where they will have an immediate and very positive impact on the way we do business. These changes will strengthen Callaway Golf as we move forward in a competitive environment that presents both opportunities and challenges.”
Mr. Helmstetter, the senior executive vice president, chief of new products, is best known as the creator of the original ‘Big Bertha’ driver. Since that 1991 breakthrough in driver technology, Mr. Helmstetter has been directly responsible for the introduction of more than 60 Callaway Golf products, including the best-selling premium driver of all time, the ‘Great Big Bertha’ titanium driver, which sold 1.8 million units worldwide. During his career, he has been granted more than 700 patents worldwide.
Callaway Golf Company www.callawaygolf.com