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Topgolf-Entertainment-CEO-Artie-Starrs.jpg Topgolf Entertainment Group
Topgolf's new CEO is a former top Pizza Hut executive

Pizza Hut chief Artie Starrs joins Topgolf Entertainment Group as CEO

The quick-service chain has started its search for a new leader

Former Pizza Hut Global CEO Artie Starrs has left that company to head up Topgolf Entertainment Group, the Dallas-based sports and entertainment company said Tuesday.

Starrs will take up the position of Topgolf CEO effective April 5, it said.

We appreciate Artie’s strong leadership, commitment to culture, and countless contributions to the Pizza Hut brand over 7+ years,” a Pizza Hut spokesperson said in an email. “We wish him well in the next chapter of his career. We are conducting a search and the backfill will be the subject of a future announcement. Pizza Hut’s U.S. and International Presidents will continue in their current roles, reporting directly to Yum! CEO David Gibbs.”  

Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, along with KFC, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill.

Before heading up Pizza Hut’s global operations, Starr was president of Pizza Hut U.S., and before that he was chief financial officer for Rave Cinemas.

Topgolf said Starrs was charged with continuing expansion of Topgolf, which currently has 70 locations in 5 countries.

Topgolf was purchased earlier this month by Callaway Golf, which also owns the Odyssey, OGIO, TravisMathew and Jack Wolfskin brands.

Callaway had stated its intention to merge with Topgolf last October.

Starrs replaces Dolf Berle, who had previously said he would leave the company once the acquisition of Callaway was complete.

"We are thrilled to have Artie join Topgolf as he leads the company, together with the team, on its continued journey of accelerated growth," Callaway president and CEO Chip Brewer said in a statement. "I am confident Artie's leadership, track record of driving a global brand with a focus on operations and franchising, and digital transformation experience will add great value to the innovative team at Topgolf.”

Starrs said he was “honored and excited” to be joining Topgolf.

“This opportunity marries my passion for the hospitality business with my lifelong love for the sport of golf," he added. "I could not think of a better time to join this brand, with so much momentum as we head into the future. I'm looking forward to joining the more than 18,000 Topgolf team members to build on their incredible business success and powerful culture."

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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