Aug 17th, 2018
Ex TaylorMade CEO Mark King working with Honma Golf
To expand the brand in USA
Mark King, the former president and CEO of TaylorMade, is going to be working with Honma Golf as the brand looks to grow in North America.
“Honestly, I had no intention of doing anything like this. But when I met Chairman Liu I was so impressed with his thinking and his dreams for the company." King told Golf Digest.
King confirmed his role is in “helping build the Honma brand in America. I have no operational responsibilities. I’m really just a strategic advisor to the chairman.”
But in reality, it seems that King’s role will be much more hands on.
“He’s in charge,” one former Honma employee told Golf Digest anonymously. He said that King’s position was announced at Honma last month. “It’s been in the works for a while. Mark’s taking over everything.”
“There were two things that made this attractive to me and the first one right away was him,” King said of Chairman Liu. “He doesn’t speak a lot of English, but his enthusiasm is mesmerizing. On top of that, with this brand, I see the opportunity to do different things, the right things for this brand, to understand who its customer is and how to reach that customer.
“He was interested in having someone help him who understands golf and understands golf in North America and how to present that brand to the market. My role is to help them build the brand.”
Liu changed Honma’s business model in Asia and its sales have increased for the last four years in a row, and now stand at nearly $250 million. Honma listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange after a IPO 2016.
Under King’s leadership, the then TaylorMade-adidas Golf achieved $1.7 billion in annual sales in 2013, which is 1,700 times the revenue the brand was generating when King started there in the 1980s. It will be interesting to see where he takes the brand in 2019 and beyond.