Nicklaus Companies, a conglomerate of golf-related businesses run and owned by Jack Nicklaus and his family, announced it has hired Phil Cotton as CEO.

An experienced sports industry business veteran, Cotton succeeds John Reese, who is transitioning to vice chairman at Nicklaus companies after more than 10 years as CEO.

Reporting to Executive Chairman, Howard Milstein, Cotton will oversee the businesses and employees of Nicklaus Brands, Nicklaus Design as well as corporate relationships and new business opportunities. He will also work closely with Andy O’Brien, president, Nicklaus Brands and Paul Stringer, president, Nicklaus Design.

Cotton has over 20 years in the sports and entertainment industry in the UK, Europe and North America. Career highlights include spearheading SAP’s golf sponsorship portfolio for its agency and leading the business interests of four-time major winner Ernie Els for over a decade.

“The team has had first-hand experience working with Phil over a number of years and we are excited to be bringing him in-house to lead the business into a new era, building on the excellent foundations that John has laid,” commented the Chairman of Nicklaus Companies, Howard Milstein. “Phil’s breadth and depth of knowledge within the global golf industry are second to none and this, coupled with his demonstrable commitment to innovation and excellence, makes him the perfect fit to drive forward the Nicklaus business,” he added.

The Nicklaus Companies’ businesses include golf-course design, the development of golf and real estate communities and the marketing and licensing of lifestyle products worldwide under the Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear brands.

Photo courtesy Nicklaus Companies