July 1, 2011, 10:34 AM

Callaway Golf names an interim CEO

Anthony Thornley takes over from George Fellows, who resigned for personal reasons.

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Anthony Thornley

Callaway Golf Co., the parent company of Callaway Golf Interactive, has a new leader. Anthony Thornley takes over as interim president and CEO. George Fellows, who had been CEO since 2004, has resigned for personal reasons, Callaway says.

Callaway Golf Interactive is No. 301 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. It operates e-retail sites selling golf equipment, golf apparel and accessories in 11 countries.

Thornley, a Callaway Golf board member since 2004 and chairman of its audit committee, was the president and chief operating officer of wireless technology company Qualcomm Inc. from 2002 to 2005, Callaway says. He also worked as chief financial officer at Qualcomm from 1994 to 2002. During a conference call with investors on Thursday, Ron Beard, chairman of the Callaway Golf board of directors, called Thornley the natural choice for the role, adding that the company’s “financial performance is not at all what we want it to be.”

Preliminary results for the second quarter of 2011 show Callaway Golf with revenue of approximately $270 million and a net loss of approximately $55 million. “It is 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,” Thornley says.

The company this week announced plans to lay off employees to help save some $50 million. It will also invest more in brand marketing. Callaway Golf’s brands include Top-Flite, Ben Hogan and Odyssey.

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