TaylorMade Golf laid off a number of staffers on Wednesday as part of a company-wide reorganization, multiple sources have told Golf News Net.
A company spokesman confirmed the restructuring, which has been ongoing for months since CEO David Abeles, who spent 12 years with the clubmaker until 2014, returned to the company in February, then assuming the role of president of TaylorMade and Adams Golf before taking over for departed CEO Ben Sharpe, who left the company after less than a year in the position, citing "personal reasons."
The reorganization aims to allow the company to focus on its highly successful TaylorMade driver, metalwood and iron offerings and adidas golf apparel and footwear.
The reorganization is part of a broader strategy. This month, adidas golf hired a new outside creative firm, Venables Bell & Partners, charged with closely aligning its offerings with its parent company's renewed emphasis on athleticism and performance. It's unclear what that means for Adams Golf, repositioned in 2015 to focus on the higher-handicap player, and Ashworth, whose hook has been classic, timeless styles for its apparel offerings.
Since taking over as CEO, Abeles has emphasized the need to position the company to bring equipment innovations to the marketplace while simultaneously continuing the work Sharpe championed in repairing relationships with retailers, many of which were unhappy with the sheer volume of product releases under Sharpe's predecessor, long-time CEO Mark King, who left in April 2014 to head adidas Group in North America. Before leaving the role, King had predicted TaylorMade-adidas sales could reach $2 billion in 2015. In the end, 2014 sales dropped 28 percent from $1.4 billion in 2013 to just about $1 billion in 2014.
Abeles is working to tighten control of distribution, particularly to Internet-based sales channels, which have been difficult for the industry at large to monitor to ensure their sales, even of newer equipment, weren't undercutting the brick-and-mortar marketplace or fellow online competitors. The goal is to increase the average sales price of equipment, even if that means moving less product in exchange for supply chain quality control.