Ashworth, Inc. announced several Board of Directors and executive officer changes to be fully implemented over the next five weeks.
After ten years of service as Ashworth’s CEO and six years as Chairman of the Board, Randall L. Herrel Sr., announced his resignation effective October 17, 2006. During the interim Mr. Herrel will work closely with the new Chairman of the Board to ensure a smooth, graceful transition as the fiscal year comes to a close. A search for a new CEO will commence immediately.
Mr. Herrel commented, “During the last 10 years, Ashworth, Inc. has grown into a clear industry leader in the design and marketing of golf-inspired lifestyle sportswear. The Ashworth® golf shirt has been acknowledged for each of the past 10 years as the most popular golf shirt brand in the United States, combining classic design with performance. Other accomplishments include one of the most successful apparel launches ever, as Ashworth and Callaway Golf Company aligned to introduce new lines of Callaway Golf apparel in the US and Europe. Also noteworthy is the successful acquisition of Ashworth East (Gekko Brands, LLC), which added headwear to the Company’s product line and expanded the Company’s distribution channels and cross-selling opportunities. These and other achievements have served our customers well and enabled the Company to develop its global multi-brand, multi-channel growth strategy.”
James B. Hayes has been elected Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. Mr. Hayes previously served as the Company’s Lead Independent Director.
The Company also announced that Gary I. (“Sims”) Schneiderman has today been named President of Ashworth, Inc. Mr. Sims previously served as the Company’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service and has over 20 years of experience in the apparel industry.
To assist in the executive transition process, the Company has created a new Office of the Chairman which will report directly to the Chairman of the Board. The initial members of the Office of the Chairman will be Mr. Herrel and Peter M. Weil, a current Director of the Company. Upon Mr. Herrel’s departure, Mr. Sims and Winston E. Hickman, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, will become members of the Office of the Chairman. Mr. Weil has also entered into a separate agreement with the Company to provide additional resources and expertise to the Company’s management team as it moves forward.
Mr. Hayes noted, “We believe the structural and organizational changes announced today will help ensure a smooth transition as the Company maintains its focus on continued operational improvement and enhanced financial results. Gary Sims is a proven executive with keen insights into our business and industry, while Peter Weil’s breadth of retail and apparel experience will be of great value in his new role. We also greatly appreciate Randy Herrel’s leadership over the last 10 years and congratulate him on his many noteworthy accomplishments in developing and implementing the Company’s strategic growth plan.”