PARIS — Surfwear company Boardriders Friday confirmed the loss of its chief executive officer Pierre Agnès, 54, who went missing off the west coast of France earlier this week.
“We are devastated by the sudden and unexpected loss of Pierre,” said the company’s chief financial officer Thomas Chambolle and human resources director Jose Cledera in a statement.
“Today we are deeply saddened to confirm that the search and rescue efforts have not been successful in locating our ceo, Pierre Agnes, who has been lost at sea since Tuesday morning,” said U.S.-based Boardriders, which owns Quiksilver and has European headquarters in southwest France.
The company plans to host several memorials around the world to celebrate the executive’s life.
A boat belonging to Agnès washed up on a French beach Tuesday morning, hours after he headed out to sea. The executive had set off at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, according to local authorities, who sent out boats and helicopters for the search and rescue operation.
In a post on Instagram earlier this week, surf star Kelly Slater paid homage to Agnès, saying, “I love this man….I’m praying for a miracle, but it’s just starting to hit me what a profound effect this man had on my life and the surf community at large.”
Boardriders, controlled by Oaktree Capital Management, earlier this month revealed plans to buy Australian label Billabong. The company was expected to shuffle its management team later this year and name Oaktree managing director Dave Tanner as ceo of Boardriders, while giving Agnès the title of president.
“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,” said Greg Healy, global president for Boardriders.