Callaway Golf – Names New CEO (Chip Brewer)
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Callaway Golf – Names New CEO (Chip Brewer)

Callaway Golf – Names New CEO (Chip Brewer)

“I know Callaway and its products very well and I am excited about joining such an iconic company, there is a lot of opportunity ahead.” said Chip Brewer.

Interim CEO Out – New CEO Steps In At Callaway

A little over 6 months ago Callaway began their search for a full-time CEO.  George Fellows was out and interim CEO for Callaway, Tony Thornley stepped in to hold the spot.  With losses quarter after quarter and a stock price that continued to slide Thornley had his work cut out for him at Callaway…even as an interim CEO.  But as I said back then, I had a feeling he was there just to “cut the fat and get Callaway down to a lean, mean, well oiled machine.”  And that is exactly what it looks like his job was for the past 6 months.

Ex-CEO at Adams Golf Chip Brewer Named New CEO at Callaway Golf

Now fast forward to yesterday when the news hit that Callaway had named their new CEO, Chip Brewer.  You might recognize the name, Brewer has spent the past 10 years as President and CEO of Adams Golf.  So is this a good move? I for one…think it is.

Many of you might not know this or think this about Adams Golf (a recent article I published and comments from our readers made me more aware of the amount of you that don’t think Adams is a big time player in the industry) but they in my opinion have the best chance at taking on Taylormade head on for golf equipment market domination (well at least until this move was made).  Why you ask…because of the products in their line-up…and because of Chip Brewer. They continue to make close to if not the best performing and technologically advanced clubs in the business.  Especially when it comes to drivers and irons.  And they do it on a shoe string budget compared to the big boys.  And now that Callaway has Brewer as their CEO I think you might see Callaway turn the ship around and begin to make some big moves to try and become #1 once again.

So Can Callaway Regain #1 Spot Again?

On paper Brewer looks like a great fit…but it’s his experience that made him the obvious choice for the new gig in my opinion.  I think your gonna see some big changes at Callaway over the next few years that is for sure.  And with the move now official with Brewer leaving Adams…I think your going to see some big moves there in just the next couple weeks as well.  This time next year Taylormade might have more competition than they have had in years…which is great for the industry.  Both companies (Adams & Callaway) are making great product they just need a couple puzzle pieces in place to try and make a move for the top spot.  And Brewer in my opinion is the biggest one for Callaway Golf.  The first puzzle piece for Adams is still in the works (more info on that soon).

Your Thoughts?

In my opinion the only place Callaway can go from this point is up…but I want to hear your thoughts.  So how do you think this move will effect the Callaway Golf brand?  Do you think this was a good move?  Do you think they will become a powerhouse once again?  What do you think will change?

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      Oliver Brewer

      12 years ago

      Any chance TMaG is the one? I’ve been out of the loop lately. :D

      Reply

      Mike Binda

      12 years ago

      To follow-up about Adams Golf, Barney Adams has been named interim CEO while they search for a permanent one. Other companies that would be a good fit for Adams are: Eaton (Golf Pride), Easton, or True Temper.

      Reply

      Mike Binda

      12 years ago

      I personally think that the best fit for Adams Golf would be Reebok! Athletic shoe companies already own half the industry, so why not another one? It would put Reebok on a somewhat even footing with Nike, Adidas, Puma, Fila, and Solomon.

      Reply

      Jerry Garcia

      12 years ago

      adidas owns reebok and they dumped Greg Norman apparel 2 years ago.

      Reply

      Jerry Garcia

      12 years ago

      I very much agree. This is a brand turnaround first but a financial one certainly for the shareholders. Ely Callaway, no matter what you thought of him, had a vision that was particularly to how he understood the world he lived in as a businessman and a golfer. Many, many companies flounder after the loss of a founder or if times change and the founders vision doesn’t evolve. My main concern for Callaway is the combination of that lack of vision and the lack of evolution in the management and the Board. George fellows I put in the category of not evolving. Having marketing and advertising with a guy like Timberlake says what when most consumers just want to get it; consciously or unconsciously. Disjointed marketing efforts are the telltale sign of no brand and marketing vision.

      There are no home grown successor like at TaylorMade. Executives in the mature golf business are employees, not brand and business turnaround guys. It is a public company and I think everyone would give the Board very low grades on their stewardship. So my prediction is that the numbers go south, the shareholders will turn on the Board and force a sale of the company and maybe Brewer will work for someone that can help him do a turnaround. If not he will have a short rewarding stay (look at his contract when it is disclosed)

      Reply

      Phil

      12 years ago

      jjust let me add to the above… Justin Timberlake is a good thing for Callaway but there needs to be solid CONNECTION and ALIGNMENT or his efforts will miss their mark with golfers example, (Vegas commercial). I salute the bold effort but Callway lipped that putt out. Callaway now does’nt need to change their stroke due to a missed that putt, they’re gonna make some good one’s later in the round… Its far more important for the overall environment for INNOVATION to be reinvented at Callaway than it is the stuff being made. (Too much STUFF at that) How do you obtain a favorable bias of the brand in golfers minds is the question to be answered. White Drivers did it! but we all really know it’s success can be attributed to far more significant other and UNCONCIOUS strategic initiatives. TM beat Callaway as they more effectively penetrated the depths of the unconcious mind. Think about it… truly the only difference between #1 on the PGA Tour and #100 is 99% unconcious emotion sh$t hell, often times #100 has a better swing and hits the ball better but who wins is determined far more by the inner emotional intelligence and the funniest thing of all it is THE PLAYER IS NOT EVEN AWARE OR IN CONTROL OF IT, they just think they are. Ask #1 to explain to you sometime how they do it? then ask #10, #20, #50, #100….#500 and you will hear all of the exact same verbage ALL OF IT so, its unconcious and uncious is out of our direct control and manipulation. We just need to understand how to better serve it. These golf companies are only gonna GET LUCKY from time to time and beat each other by accident NOT by in depth strategic knowledge otherwise…

      Reply

      Phil

      12 years ago

      Its really NOT so much the product that will launch Callaway forward. Hell, EVERYBODY has good product!!! I am a PGA ProfessionalI and will tell you, there’s at least 5-6 clubmakers all equally as good and another 3-4 balls that it would’nt matter who played with it, their scores would be equally the same… In fact, I find its hilarious that golfers really don’t score much better today on average than they did in the mid-80’s without all the latest and greatest hype. I feel its all about understanding consumer behavior and trends… the systems, processes and INNOVATION capabilities of creative QUALITY PEOPLE will enhance Callaway’s competiveness and sustain decent shareholder returns. The answer does’nt lie in financial restructuring although that is also necessary. Nope, the company will need to find CONNECTION to a game that is on the ropes – at least in the U.S. and its not coming back fellas especially with such empty initiatives i.e. the PGA of America’s Grow the Game 2.0 hahaha good luck…. window dressing marketing plans won’t get it done. Maybe just tatoo a driver instead of painting it white next year hahahaha come on… Regardless of who takes the reins over at Callaway, they’d better use the right side of the their brain to figure out how to CONNECT with people’s behavior, lifestyles, innermost wiring or retreat to the financial maneuvers, size reduction, etc. and protect shareholders interests cause it will get ugly!

      Reply

      RAT

      12 years ago

      The problem with Callaway started back with the “X” series irons.The “X” 12,14,16,18,22 etc.
      There was nothing but window dressing(badge) changes.The head never changed!!
      Callaway has six different named irons , all with barely a color change .Surely there is not that many different type golfers!
      Trying to be all things to all people.This too will fail.
      Isn’t Taylor Made in a bit of stress too?
      The problem is in loss revenue, cost is too high to the avg.golfer to purchase the lastest every 6 months or so.This is like the athletic shoe market.The production of clubs is done mostly in China where the labor cost almost nothing where the price of equipment keeps going up.The fat cats at the top keep getting the cream while letting the company crumble.
      If you want to sell more -sell it for less so that the avg. golfer may have the chance to purchase a new set without taking food from their table.The Companies have put the idea that the more cost the better the equipment and the better you will play.Keep it Simple Stupid!

      Reply

      carlito

      12 years ago

      any update on the admas sale? whats the gossip?

      Reply

      gphin305

      12 years ago

      I’m not a golf insider but have played mostly Titleist, Taylormade, and Callaway clubs for over 40 years and consider myself a very avid follower of the game. I am also a long-time former marketing director for a $3 billion organization and have also wondered what message Callaway’s recent (Las Vegas) advertising is attempting to market. I don’t get it, and if they want to attempt to compete with TM and others, they need a better marketing strategy than Tommy Two Gloves hitting balls from Las Vegas roof tops!

      Reply

      GolfSpy T

      12 years ago

      Great point. I’ve heard plenty of guys talking about the Vegas shoots. It’s cool to watch, but at the end of the day I think they basically amount to Callaway’s Spicy Meatball moment. Great Ads…just not for what you’re trying to sell.

      When they’re over, the guys all talk about wanting to go to Vegas…not many are talking about wanting to try/buy the clubs.

      Great scenery, but as a marketing engine, it kinda sputters.

      Reply

      anotherlefty

      12 years ago

      callaway should start by bringing the hogan brand back and start making less expensive higher handicap callaway clugs and put the lower handicap clubs irons under the hogan brand.

      Reply

      Steve P.

      12 years ago

      Too late for that. They already sold the “Ben Hogan” brand to Perry Ellis.

      Reply

      Bob Krelik

      12 years ago

      I think it’s a great move & good for the Callaway brand
      I used to be a bid dealer with Taylor Made , they’d send & bring me to many private events, I always had a sneaking suspicion that Taylor owned all or part of Adams.
      Every private event I had been invited to , I always saw Gary Adams Mother & brother or someone, always in the front row.

      Reply

      Steve P.

      12 years ago

      The late Gary Adams had/has no affiliation with Adams Golf.
      Gary Adams was the founder of TaylorMade, then later Founders Club, and McHenry Metals.
      Barney Adams is the gentleman Adams Golf is named for. (He purchased the pieces of Pelz Golf years before anyone had heard of TightLies, which is the club that brought the company to its initial prominence.)

      Reply

      Jerry Garcia

      12 years ago

      Gary Adams was one of the most original guys I ever met and a really great soul. His son Brad is a very cool guy too.

      Ugo Derosa

      12 years ago

      All due respect, but with regard to Justin Timberlake, you are dead wrong and I absolutely disagree with you. You clearly have not been following Justin’s career. The guy is a creative/comedic genius. Most golfers don’t have a clue about Justin’s creative side. He is not just an actor/singer. Cally’s commercials have never been better. Justin is beginning to create some buzz with Callaway. Give him some time.

      These same folks would have lumped Marky Mark as a no-talent boy bander, but he is taking over Hollywood at the moment. It is easy to sit back to take jabs at Callaway, but rather than sit back and take cheap shots, let’s hear what you would do differently.

      The products are very good (Razr Fit, Razr Hawk, X-Forged, X-Protos, the wedges, the balls, etc.). It is hard to compete with TM, yes, But they are trying. Cally’s customer service has also been the best in the industry for some years. TM is the king, but Cally is trying.

      Reply

      Jerry Garcia

      12 years ago

      I am a musician so I know about Timberlake. Golf and especially creative and brand building and fixing is not a hobby. For example, Phil Knight, I know would never have had a “just do it” from a part time advertising guy even if he was cool and in the news. A good friend that died almost 20 years ago and developed all the Nike brand building once told me that creative is hard work and when the bell rings the bullshit and pretty pictures stop. Ask Dan Wieden. For me, the point is who is your customer? Guys that don’t have a clue about being relevant hire guys like Timberlake to develop their brand.

      Every pro I know has little regard for Callaway products outside of the payment side of it. As marketing people, the company doesn’t get it. Again go check sell thru’s, average price points and dealer margins. TaylorMade’s line up has all the price points covered with good product and relevant marketing. The adjustable club for Callaway competes against others at $100 less; two years too late.

      They are trying? As Yoda said, “Do or do not… there is no try”. Luke has been trying to raise the star fighter for 4 years.

      What would I do? I don’t take jabs. I am more of the haymaker kind of guy having done two turnarounds. Actually, I am with the guy that said get rid of 3/4 of the guys. For shareholders, sell the company and quit trying as you say. As any product moves now don’t hit the bottom line for two years, I wouldn’t wait even on Yoda and the Force. Wait until the end of the next quarter. The sales will be down, the “turnaround” now not going to happen in 2012 with the excuse that a new CEO needs time, and the financial dress up from the sale of a factory and Ben Hogan trying to be counted as part of the turnaround (maybe balance sheet but no the company turnaround).

      Last, I would never tell Justin Timberlake what key to sing in and I wouldn’t ask him how to rebuild a drifting truly core golf brand. Ely, wherever you are, sorry to see this happen to your genius.

      Reply

      mygolfspy

      12 years ago

      Well said Jerry.

      Jerry Garcia

      12 years ago

      I was a CEO of one of Callaway’s major competitors for 5 years. They are getting their face kicked in by TaylorMade on every product introduction, marketing, tour and on the international front. Callaway’s product offering is confused and they take pride with an actor/singer being a creative director. I wish I knew the latin root for permanently lost so I could sound erudite. If a Board that has sat on it hands for the last many failing years appoints a CEO that has small company and specialized experience, my guess is he fits right in. Wow. I would sell short. Maybe somebody should check sell thru’s at Dick’s and ask what retailers think. Then sell.

      Reply

      Oliver Jones

      12 years ago

      Didn’t CG just throw out many of their Execs last July? They need money and they need a marketing genius. Their recent Ads look like they are promoting Las Vegas??? Who is heading their international division now?

      Reply

      John Mc.

      12 years ago

      CG has basically been a mess since the passing of Eli Callway. Current managment is pretty much clueless. Adams has done reasonably well, but without the monetary resources. Maybe Brewer can fix CG, but he’ll need to throw out 3/4 of their execs to do it.

      Reply

      Brandon Foster

      12 years ago

      Steve P, Funny…

      As many know Callaway tried to aquire Titleist and Fila came out ahead on that one. Perhaps, CG is interested in Adams Golf. I’m not saying I know this is true but think about this, it may Just be enough to over take TM. Although, if Taylormade contiues on their path much longer they can’t hide their short falls in R&D.. Paint will only take you so far.

      So perhaps Callaway is going to Buy Adams, who better to man the ship for Callaway? Chip Brewer?

      Reply

      dc golf

      12 years ago

      Think there is any truth behind Bridgestone buying up both Adams and Under Armour? Also how about Oakley as a possible suitor?

      Reply

      Steve P.

      12 years ago

      Rumor is that Orlimar is going to partner up with Nickent to buy both Adams and Callaway.
      You heard it here first!

      Reply

      Oliver Jones

      12 years ago

      Both companies (Adams and Callaway) would benefit from being sold. CG needs money to grow. It’s a big small company. TM is small company within a Giant Company. Didn’t CG just sell assets of Ben Hogan to Perry Ellis?

      Reply

      Robert

      12 years ago

      Does anyone else think that Bridgestone is going to be the buyer?

      Reply

      mygolfspy

      12 years ago

      They are definitely in the conversation Robert…but have to wait and see.

      Reply

      Robert

      12 years ago

      Who else is in the conversation? Is this something that is going to take weeks or months?

      Todd

      12 years ago

      Who is the best fit! Who are the potential suitors! What’s the big secret? And if this must be kept secre. for how long?

      Reply

      Todd

      12 years ago

      What puzzle piece are you referring to regarding Adams? Big suitor to take over and market the company better on tour? There were rumblings during the PGA merchandise show about under armour buying Adams golf and chip brewer going to Calloway. So far one is true. Any thoughts on when this Adams deal will be finalized, and what exactly this development means for adams golf?

      Reply

      Smhgolf

      12 years ago

      How will this affect Adams? Haven’t they had recent financial struggles even though their clubs have been getting better performance ratings in recent years?

      Reply

      mygolfspy

      12 years ago

      Well Adams Golf is for sale right now SMH…which is the reason Chip was available. Couple majority share holders from Adams and board members wanted to make a change for reasons I am sure will be posted fairly soon on the site. This made Brewer have interest in leaving…even though I think he was happy where he was. But different views forced this move and the move that will most likely happen at Adams Golf fairly soon.

      But Adams Golf financially is performing well for their size…so no real struggle their. But if the move that is in the works for Adams Golf right now pans out it could be a good thing for them as well. Even though I think (which is just my opinion) Adams Golf could have been purchased by this same new company and done better by keeping Chip on board. They seem to feel different. Should be interesting to see how it all shakes out in the coming weeks and months.

      Reply

      Tim Shaughnessy

      12 years ago

      UnderArmour?

      Oliver Jones

      12 years ago

      Is Callaway for sale? Are you saying UnderArmour has interest? Isn’t Callaway selling Perry Ellis apparel? Is Callaway/Perry Ellis apparel doing well?

      mygolfspy

      12 years ago

      No Callaway is not for sale, I am referring to Adams Golf being for sale. I am saying that a few have interest…but one being the best fit in my opinion and in my opinion the best fit is NOT Under Armour. Not to say that they might not be the company to buy them…just not the best fit of the companies looking right now in my opinion. More details will be written about this soon.

      Todd

      12 years ago

      Who is the best fit! Who are the potential suitors! What’s the big secret? And if this must be kept secre. for how long?

      REPLY

      mygolfspy

      12 years ago

      Best way to answer is that when I can I will.

      Todd

      12 years ago

      Can you tell us what you can of what you know? Why must we speculate, when the secret is clearly out? As an Adams shareholder I find it quite unnerving that the golf equipment blog insiders know more than the market.

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