Quiksilver Inc. president Bernard Mariette has resigned with the possible intention of acquiring the Rossignol group, which Quiksilver said last month it put on strategic review.
This story first appeared in the February 13, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Robert McKnight, Quiksilver chairman and chief executive officer, has resumed the additional role of president of Quiksilver, which owns the Quiksilver, Roxy and DC brands.
“Bernard Mariette has, for 15 years, been invaluable to the growth and success of this company,” McKnight said. “He took Quiksilver Europe from its development stage in 1994 and grew it to a $250 million business by 2001 when he became president of the entire company. Since 2001, Quiksilver has almost quadrupled in size and, under Bernard’s leadership, has established an infrastructure to globalize Quiksilver’s historically regional businesses and cemented its position as a leading global lifestyle company.”
Mariette couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday, but Quiksilver revealed his intention to acquire Rossignol.
Warm weather and macroeconomic conditions drove Quiksilver’s decision to put Rossignol, which it acquired in 2005 for $320 million in cash and stock, on strategic review. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is conducting the process aimed at reducing Quiksilver’s exposure to the winter sports equipment business, which most likely means a sale of the French ski apparel and equipment brand. Mariette will remain available for one year to consult on Quiksilver’s business, minus the Rossignol Group, according to Quiksilver officials.
Under the company’s new management structure, McKnight will have three corporate officers reporting to him — general counsel Charlie Exon, who will add the title chief administrative officer; chief operating officer David Morgan, who will continue in his role that includes serving as president of Rossignol through the transition period, and chief financial officer Joe Scirocco. There also will be three regional presidents — Quiksilver Americas president Marty Samuels, based in Huntington Beach, Calif., Quiksilver Europe president Pierre Agnes, based in Saint Jean de Luz, France, and global brand leader for the Quiksilver brand Craig Stevenson, who will assume additional responsibilities as president of Quiksilver South Asia-Pacific, based in Torquay, Australia — all reporting to McKnight.