Bridgestone Golf is heading in a new direction, as the company's CEO Angel Ilagan is out of his job, according to multiple reports.
The Hackers Paradise tweeted the news Wednesday evening, with MyGolfSpy following up with an official statement from the company.
"Bridgestone Golf and its president and chief executive officer, Angel Ilagan, have made a mutual decision to part ways," the statement reads. "The company greatly appreciates the energy he put into leading Bridgestone Golf over the past two years, and wishes him well in future endeavors. An immediate search is underway to identify a new leader who will help carry Bridgestone Golf's recent momentum forward."
Sales data places Bridgestone Golf fourth in share of the ball market, which isn't where the company wants to be. Ideally, they'd be second behind Acushnet and its brands, but Callaway and TaylorMade have passed the company in sales to start the year despite the momentum from Tiger Woods' signing and success in his latest comeback.
Lexi Thompson and Bryson DeChambeau were also brought on staff during Ilagan's tenure, and Matt Kuchar remains one of the most recognizable players wearing their logo.
Bridgestone announced a record number of ball sales in 2017, but that hasn't put them where they want to be in terms of market share. The company has struggled to connect with American golfers in terms of drivers, irons and wedges, despite making good equipment. Perhaps it's due to a lack of identity, at times pushing equipment for better players and at others going out of their way to make equipment for higher-handicap players.
Ultimately, a new leader, whoever that will be, needs to set a clear identity for the company -- both publicly and internally. First and foremost, Bridgestone Golf makes great golf balls, and they should penetrate the market leading with that technology. They've proven to golfers through fittings their balls can compete and perform as well as any other manufacturer's efforts. Most everything else in the American market is secondary. The company crushes it in Asia, and they're finding their way back into the United Kingdom market.
The path to success is different in each major golf market, but getting back to the core of what Bridgestone does best in the United States should be a starting point to get them where they want to be.