Topgolf Names New COO of U.S. Venues, New CMO, and New Chief People Officer

The leadership moves are part of Topgolf's drive toward continued expansion. They follow Friday's news that former Topgolf COO Craig Kessler had been named CEO of Dallas' Buff City Soap.

Friday we told you about former Topgolf COO Craig Kessler being named the new CEO of Dallas’ Buff City Soap. Today Topgolf made some leadership moves of its own as it scales up for continued expansion. 

A new COO of U.S. venues

The Dallas-based global sports and entertainment company has named Genifer (Gen) Gray as chief operating officer for Topgolf’s U.S. venues. Gray had been Topgolf’s VP of operations for the past three years, overseeing the day-to-day experience at Topgolf’s 65 U.S. venues, including venue operations, food and beverage programs, training and leadership development, and golf services.

Gray had earlier joined Topgolf from Maggiano’s Little Italy, where she served as chief operating officer, overseeing dozens of restaurants and thousands of employees.  Gray succeeds Craig Kessler in her new role.

“It’s been a privilege to be part of Topgolf’s growth journey over the past few years, fueled by our culture and our unique experience,” Gray said in a statement. “We’re in a tremendous position for growth as a company and I’m honored to lead our guest experience and our incredibly talented venue teams.”

A new chief marketing officer

Topgolf has also hired Geoff Cottrill to be its new chief marketing officer. Cottrill joins the company following his post as head of marketing for Coca-Cola North America, and earlier positions in marketing leadership at Converse, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, and MullenLowe.

Cottrill, whose achievements include being named one of BrandWeek’s Marketers of the Year, is on the advisory boards of several emerging music and tech companies. He recently joined the boards of Giving Kitchen and the Georgia Music Accord.

“It’s been remarkable to watch Topgolf innovate and attract new fans over the past decade, whether they’re playing at a venue, at a Toptracer Range, or on WGT online,” Cottrill said in the statement. “Joining the team at Topgolf during such an exciting time for the brand is a marketer’s dream. I can’t wait to get started, to build on the work their team has already accomplished, and to help fuel what’s already one of the great brand growth stories of our time.”

A new chief people officer

In a third hire, Topgolf tapped Kristi Maynor to be its new chief people officer, following her position as partner and global head of the consumer practice at Egon Zehnder, a global leadership advisory firm.

Maynor brings her experience in leadership development, digital transformation, brand building, and customer focus across an array of industries—including restaurants, gaming, entertainment, retail, apparel, and consumer products.

The new CPO believes her guest-first mentality will help Topgolf continue its growth.

“The first thing you feel when entering a Topgolf is the energy of its people,” Maynor said. “I felt it when visiting venues as a guest and I felt it when speaking with leaders across the organization. This is only possible through the amazing team members who deliver this experience every day.”

The goal: Continued rapid growth

All three will report to CEO Artie Starrs, who joined Topgolf earlier this year and is working to scale his top team for continued rapid expansion.

“The addition of Gen, Geoff, and Kristi to our leadership team will help fuel our growth and continue driving innovation across our Topgolf venue, Toptracer, and Topgolf Media experiences,” Starrs said in the statement. “I have no doubt they will help us further solidify Topgolf as a leader in the sports and entertainment industry focused on an unmatched guest experience and team culture that is truly like no other.”

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