Bridgestone Golf, CEO Angel Ilagan part ways
Bridgestone Golf CEO Angel Ilagan is out. The former Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer at Vera Bradley and golf business outsider mutually agreed to the split.
Contacted for comment, Bridgestone offered this statement
“Bridgestone Golf and its President and Chief Executive Officer, Angel Ilagan, have made a mutual decision to part ways. The company greatly appreciates the energy he put into leading Bridgestone Golf over the past two years, and wishes him well in his future endeavors. An immediate search is underway to identify a new leader who will help carry Bridgestone Golf’s recent momentum forward.
“In the interim, Shigeru Nakayama, Bridgestone Sports Senior Officer and Bridgestone Golf Chairman, will return to lead the company through this transition as acting President and CEO. With Nakayama’s extensive experience in this role and understanding of the business, Bridgestone Golf will operate business as usual during this time and continue serving the needs of our customers and partners.”
Ilagan and company signed Tiger Woods to a ball endorsement deal in 2016. Bryson DeChambeau and Lexi Thompson also joined the ball stable during his time at the helm.
Ilagan courted controversy last November when he seemed to advocate for a roll back of the golf ball, telling Golf.com, “We need to do something about the golf ball. I just think [the ball] is going too far. With the game progressing as it is, I think the 8,000-yard golf course is not too far away. That’s pretty scary.”
While Bridgestone was at one point the No. 2-selling golf ball on the market (behind Titleist) during Ilagan’s tenure, it has fallen behind Callaway and TaylorMade. The company’s share of the golf club market, both on professional tours and at retail, remains minimal.