A former longtime employee has returned to Bridgestone Golf as the company’s new CEO.
Covington-based Bridgestone Golf announced Dan Murphy as the new president and CEO on Monday.
Murphy previously was with Bridgestone Golf USA from 2004 to 2015, reaching the level of executive vice president of sales and marketing. During his tenure, he helped the brand increase its market share to No. 2 in the ball category.
Domestic revenue grew by about 250 percent and the company negotiated the rights to the annual World Golf Championships – Bridgestone Invitational, a PGA Tour event at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
“I’ve been with Bridgestone Golf since the beginning and the passion runs deep,” Murphy said in a statement from the company.
“We make the most technologically advanced golf balls in the world and my role is to help ensure Bridgestone is recognized as the industry’s leading example of how science and data (are) used to make products that improve the performance of all golfers.”
In his new role, Murphy will oversee core business functions at Bridgestone Golf including product planning and production as well as marketing, sales and customer relations.
Murphy served as the chairman of the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce in 2014-15. Chamber President Ralph Staffins said the move by Bridgestone to bring Murphy back to Covington is a good one.
“Bridgestone Golf is a vital part of our community, part of the fabric that makes this such a great place to both work and live,” Staffins said. “It is with great excitement that the business community welcomes Dan Murphy back as Bridgestone’s new president and CEO.
“He knows Bridgestone and the golf industry incredibly well from his time as their vice president of sales and marketing. Dan also knows our community very well as a longtime resident and former chairman of the board for the Covington/Newton Chamber of Commerce.”
The company chose Murphy at a time when rising golf star Bryson DeChambeau used its Tour B X ball to win the PGA Tour Memorial Tournament just two weeks ago, launching himself to fourth on the money list.
The company recently introduced the Tour B XS Tiger Woods Edition and the e6 Soft Lady Edition, both of which it said have proven popular.
“Dan’s leadership skills, product knowledge, industry connections and assemblage of talent are exemplary,” Shigeru Nakayama, the senior officer for Bridgestone Sports and the chairman of Bridgestone Golf, said.
“He’s unafraid to push the envelope to find ways to make golfers better and, therefore, lifetime Bridgestone loyalists.”
In his new role, Murphy is committed to growing Bridgestone’s share of the golf club market. It offers a variety of options via its JGR and Tour B Series clubs and plans to unveil new lines in the coming months.
Murphy left Bridgestone in 2015, serving as president and an equity partner for Kentwool, a specialty consumer golf apparel brand. Since December 2016, he has served as a vice president with American Achievement Corp.
Murphy is a 1986 graduate of Wake Forest University. He has worked in marketing and business development for TaylorMade, Dunlop Slazenger, Maxfli and General Mills.
During his first stint with Bridgestone Golf, he served on the board of the Arts Association of Newton County.
Bridgestone Golf USA has its headquarters on Industrial Park Boulevard Northeast in Covington. It’s a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Bridgestone Sports Co. Ltd.