Callaway interim CEO seeks to regain market share, announces layoffs

Associated Press

Series: Industry News

Published: Thursday, June 30, 2011 | 5:03 p.m.

Callaway Golf’s new interim CEO, Anthony Thornley, says the golf equipment maker will put some savings from planned job cuts toward boosting marketing spending and gaining back market share.

Late Wednesday, Callaway Golf Co. announced layoffs in an effort to cut costs by $50 million, said CEO George Fellows would step down and issued a weak forecast for the second quarter. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based company said it must take “immediate and aggressive actions” to return to profitability.

Callaway has suffered losses as the golfing industry has been slow to rebound after the recession.

In a conference call with analysts on Thursday, Thornley says Callaway’s rivals have been investing considerable sums on media advertising and tour expenses and that’s hurt Callaway’s business. He says the company will look to boost marketing spending to better attract customers.

Callaway appointed Thornley as interim president and CEO on Wednesday, filling a vacancy created by Fellows’ resignation. The 68-year-old Fellows served as president and CEO since August 2005.

The 65-year-old Thornley, who joined Callaway’s board of directors in 2004, served from 2002-05 as president and chief operating officer of Qualcomm Inc. He had been chair of the audit committee of Callaway’s board and was the designated “financial expert.”