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Equipment Report
  • TaylorMade Golf CEO gets a nice promotion

    Mark King named president of adidas Group North America

  • Newly announced adidas Group North America president Mark King poses with Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia Newly announced adidas Group North America president Mark King poses with Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia

Since he was appointed president in 1999, TaylorMade-adidas Golf CEO Mark King has turned the Carlsbad, California-based golf company into one of the most profitable and successful in the game, taking the business from $349 million in sales to more than $1.7 billion in 2013. During that period, TaylorMade also became the No. 1 driver on the PGA TOUR.

With TaylorMade in a dominant position, King will depart for a new challenge, after adidas Group AG CEO Herbert Hainer named him president of adidas Group North America effective June 1, 2014.

King will continue overseeing the TaylorMade-adidas Golf business and will serve on an advisory board for the company. He'll also remained involved with Hack Golf, an initiative that was unveiled at this year's PGA Merchandise Show with the goal of attracting more people to the game.

Earlier this week, King co-hosted an event with PGA of America president Ted Bishop at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga., where TaylorMade Golf staffers Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose played nine hole with a 15-inch cup.

"It is clear our game needs something to recapture the incredible growth and momentum we were experiencing a decade ago,” King said. “Whether it is this 15-inch-cup concept or an idea that comes in from outside the industry, we need to spark a revolution that will bring new participants to the game.”

With King's departure, Ben Sharpe, the current executive vice president of adidas Golf and Ashworth, will assume the role of CEO at TaylorMade-adidas Golf.

“Mark King’s appointment underlines our clear commitment to the North American market-place,” Hainer said. "Mark has a proven track record of success and leadership excellence. In turn, TaylorMade-adidas Golf is in best hands with Ben Sharpe who has been part of the successful TaylorMade leadership team since 2006. I am convinced that Ben will lead our golf business into the next era of growth.”

Prior to his role with adidas Golf and Ashworth, Sharpe spent six years as TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s managing director in Europe, where he helped double the company’s business. He also represented Great Britain at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney as a member of the country’s field hockey team.

“Ben’s business savvy, vision, charisma and competitive drive make him the right man to lead TaylorMade-adidas Golf into the future,” King said. “My role on the board will allow me to stay connected with the golf business while focusing my efforts on ensuring adidas Group reaches its full potential in North America.”