Boardriders group confirms disappearance of CEO Pierre Agnès

A search and rescue operation had been ongoing for several days along the Landes Atlantic coast and off the municipality of Capbreton, France, in an effort to locate Pierre Agnès, the CEO of Boardriders, the group which owns, among others, Quiksilver and Roxy. Agnès was reported missing last Tuesday, after his fishing boat was found washed ashore and empty.


Pierre Agnès - Quiksilver

But the efforts to locate him have been fruitless, and last Friday the group officially announced that Pierre Agnès is lost at sea. "The entire Boardriders family and the thousands of people [Pierre Agnès] touched spanning the globe are mourning this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children, family and friends in this extremely difficult time," said the group in a press release. "Pierre loved his family, the ocean, the surfing industry, his hometown of Capbreton, France, the Boardriders group and its employees, whom he considered family. He helped build Quiksilver into an industry leader, and leaves as his legacy the world's leading action-sports company. We are committed to building upon his vision and continuing the Boardriders group's success."

Formerly a top-notch surfer, Pierre Agnès rose through the ranks of the Quiksilver group during a 30-year career. He took charge of the group worldwide in 2014, and led it through a troubled period which culminated with the Oaktree investment fund taking control of the corporation. Pierre Agnès remained one of the group's mainstays within the surfing world.

"We are devastated by the sudden and unexpected loss of Pierre. He was a vibrant spirit, a humble soul, a charismatic leader and our beloved friend. We join the entire surfing industry in mourning his loss," said in a joint statement Thomas Chambolle, the group's CFO, and José Clédera, its HR Director, adding: "We are deeply grateful for the efforts of the search and rescue teams that worked tirelessly to find him, and for the outpouring of concern that has come from far and wide."

Pierre Agnès notably infused a European flavour within the staff of the board sports group. In the ongoing acquisition of long-standing competitor Billabong, Agnès was playing a big role, forging closer links between the staff of two groups, which altogether employ nearly 10,000 people.

Greg Healy, Global President of Boardriders, added: "The only solace we can take from this is that Pierre left us while doing something he loved – enjoying the vast and endless beauty of the ocean, which had been one of his life's passions. His leadership left an exceptionally strong team at Boardriders. I know that he saw the resurgence and growth of Quiksilver and Boardriders as his legacy, and our teams around the world are committed to honouring his memory by carrying the business forward with the same passion and energy he infused in us all."

The group added that tributes from the surfing community are being organised worldwide.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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