American Golf has parachuted in Alan Fort, best known as a restructuring expert, to lead the business on an interim basis following the departure of its chief executive and chief financial officer.
Fort, who has previously been drafted in to struggling firms such as Jessops and Dreams, is understood to have taken the reins at Sun European-owned American Golf in the past few weeks after former boss Kevin Styles departed to head Vue Cinemas in the UK and Ireland.
Sun European declined to comment on Fort’s appointment but it is understood a permanent successor to Styles is still being sought. A source close to the situation insisted that Fort had been appointed for his retail skills rather than his restructuring expertise.
Styles, who was previously UK marketing director of US electricals giant Best Buy and chief executive of Habitat, had been with American Golf for two years.
American Golf chief financial officer Stuart Owens also exited the retailer at the end of July, it has emerged. A spokesperson for private equity owner Sun European said that Owens had left the business to “pursue other opportunities”.
Taylor Boyd has taken on the finance role on an interim basis. He has previously held interim posts at Matalan, Fenn Wright Manson and TJ Hughes.
The spokesperson said: “Taylor Boyd… will work closely with the rest of the board to take the well-established and growing business forward.”
In its last reported results for the year to January 27, 2013, American Golf’s pre-tax profit before exceptionals dropped 16.3% to £5.1m but sales advanced 4% to £97.3m, according to Companies House documentation.
However, the global golf market is understood to be in decline. Sun European’s US parent company Sun Capital placed 91-store US chain Edwin Watts into Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year. It was later bought by GWNE, an affiliate of Worldwide Golf Shops, and Hilco.
And Adidas last week revealed plans to overhaul its golfing brand TaylorMade after an 18% drop in sales in its second quarter. Adidas said it will reduce its golf inventory in the coming months “to align the organisation’s overhead to match lower expectations”.