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Eli Callaway retires at age 81

Ely Callaway, the 81-year-old founder of the hugely successful Callaway Golf Co., retired as chief executive officer and president today.

Callaway, who planned to step down later this year, cited recent health problems for the decision. Last month, a tumor was discovered on his pancreas during surgery to remove his gall bladder.

Ron Drapeau, senior executive vice president of manufacturing, was promoted to CEO and president, effective immediately.

"In my opinion, Callaway Golf deserves a healthy and qualified, full-time CEO right now,'' Callaway said.

"Our company presently faces many opportunities, which should be studied and, if appropriate, seized. If we carefully and intelligently take advantage of these opportunities, our future has never looked brighter. For these reasons, I have decided not to delay my retirement as CEO and president any longer."

Callaway will remain chairman of the board, and will hold the titles of founder and CEO emeritus.

"Nobody can replace Ely Callaway. I can only follow him,'' the 54-year-old Drapeau said. "I look forward to continuing to receive his guidance and counsel.''





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