Pillsbury is new CEO of ClubCorp, Burnett to leave

David Pillsbury is the new chief executive officer of ClubCorp, replacing Eric Affeldt, who announced he would step down in April 2017. 

Affeldt’s departure seemed to pave the way for Apollo Global Management to acquire the then-public company for $2.2 billion in cash and debt in July 2017. That deal closed in September, but the company took its time finding a new CEO. 

While Affeldt had championed Mark Burnett, ClubCorp’s President and COO, as the next CEO, the board went a different direction. ClubCorp announced Burnett is leaving the company, after 12 years in various roles. 

Pillsbury has a long history in the golf market. He started at American Golf, soon after receiving an MBA from the University of Southern California. He moved up the corporate ladder, eventually becoming Co-CEO with Joe Guerra in 2000. Mark Burnett was COO of American Golf from 2000 to 2004.

Pillsbury left American Golf in 2003 and made a one-year pit stop at Nike Golf, where he was U.S. General Manager in 2003, responsible for all US operations, marketing and sales.  

The PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties hired him in 2004 as chief operating officer, and he was promoted to president in 2006. In 2008, he was promoted to executive vice president of championship management, and assumed responsibility for 10 events, including THE PLAYERS Championship. 

He left the PGA TOUR in 2015, and since then was president and then CEO of Laser Spine Institute, a healthcare company in Tampa. 

“Dave has a keen understanding and appreciation for the traditions of the game of golf, is totally committed to enhancing member and guest experiences, and embraces contemporary thinking and technology,” said David Sambur, ClubCorp’s Chairman of the Board and a senior partner at Apollo. “Dave brings a unique skill set and perspective which he has gathered from being involved in multiple dimensions of the golf industry. We believe Dave’s experience and energy will be a strong catalyst for our ambitious plans to expand the ClubCorp network and drive innovation and new products and services for the benefit of ClubCorp’s members and guests.”

Interestingly, while David Pillsbury, the former CEO of American Golf, is now CEO of ClubCorp, Jim Hinckley, who was previously CEO of ClubCorp is now CEO of American Golf. 

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