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Boardriders, With New Execs, Ready to Ascend


Boardriders Inc., just before the recent closing of its purchase of Billabong and after the January disappearance of President-elect Pierre Agnes, named its new executive leadership team and is contemplating co-locating the combined company in Boardriders’ Huntington Beach headquarters.

The new management is a “combination of seasoned global talent from Boardriders, Billabong and from outside,” tasked with “creating the world’s leading action sports company,” Chief Executive Dave Tanner said in a statement.

The action sports and lifestyle apparel manufacturer split the president role between division heads Greg Healy and Shannan North, a position that was to be assumed by 30-year company veteran Agnes, who disappeared on a routine fishing trip in southwestern France, before he could take the role. Agnes was declared missing shortly after his boat washed ashore.

Paths to Dual Job

Healy joined then-Quiksilver Inc.’s finance team in 1998, and in 2002 was appointed chief financial officer and chief operating officer of the Asia-Pacific region. He was promoted to president of APAC in 2010, and stepped in as company president in 2015 when founder Bob McKnight ousted then-Chief Executive Andy Mooney and appointed Agnes to the chief executive role.

Shortly after taking the post, Agnes led the company through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy that helped the surfwear maker unload about $500 million in debt. Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management LP provided debtor-in-possession financing and assumed control of Quiksilver after the bankruptcy was finalized in early 2016. The private equity firm, which at the time owned a 19% stake in Billabong, kept Agnes at the helm, along with Tanner, then chief turnaround officer.

Quiksilver changed its corporate name to Boardriders last year to serve as an umbrella for its three main brands—Quiksilver, ROXY and DC Shoes. The move positioned it to pursue Australia-based Billabong International Ltd., which operated RVCA in Costa Mesa, and namesake Billabong and Element in Irvine. The $162 million deal closed last week, creating “the world’s leading action sports company with sales to over 7,000 wholesale customers in more than 110 countries, owned e-commerce capabilities in 35 countries, and over 630 retail stores in 28 countries.”

Healy returned to leading APAC last year when Nate Smith took over as president of Boardriders’ Americas region. Aside from his role as global president and member of the company’s board of directors, Healy will continue as APAC president, a job that now also oversees Billabong’s operations. He unseated Paul Burdekin, who along with former Chief Executive Neil Fiske and former Chief Financial Officer Jim Howell parted ways with the company as the deal closed.

North will also focus on overall Billabong operations and Boardriders retail strategy. He’d been in charge of Billabong’s Americas operations in Irvine since 2014, and joined Billabong in 1993, apparently backed by major company shareholders and co-founder Gordon Merchant.

Joe Scirocco replaces Chief Financial Officer Thomas Chambolle, who now heads the combined company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Chambolle came on board in 2013 to run finances for Boardriders’ European operations, and was brought to the U.S. in 2015 as it filed for bankruptcy protection. The appointment is a homecoming for Scirocco, who served in a similar role at Quiksilver from 2007 to 2012 before moving to TOMS as chief operating officer. He set up Tramonto Consulting LLC in 2016, a Newport Beach-based advisory firm that guided Nasty Gal Inc. through bankruptcy proceedings last year.

Ongoing assignments include Chief Brand Officer Dan Levine, who was most recently executive vice president of merchandising and design at sock maker Stance Inc. in San Clemente since 2014. His previous Orange County stints include serving as president of RVCA in 2008 and as executive vice president of merchandising and design for Hurley—now owned by Nike Inc.—in Costa Mesa from 2003 to 2007.

• Ilene Eskenazi, Boardriders’ global general counsel and chief human resources officer for the Americas region since 2016, will expand her role to include duties handled by Billabong’s former general counsel, Tracey Wood, and head of human resources Mara Pagotto.

• Nate Smith, a former Navy SEAL, will continue as president of the Americas region and also oversee Billabong business here.

Other ongoing appointments include:

• Garry Wall, global general manager of the Quiksilver brand.

• Emilie Souvras, who’s been Roxy’s global general manager since 2015.

• Global General Manager Kevin Meehan, who left Costa Mesa-based Volcom LLC last year to run RVCA.

• David Brooks, who last year joined Element as global general manager from Wasserman Media Group in L.A.

• Julie Ott, a 25-year veteran at Vans Inc. parent VF Corp., joined Boardriders in 2016 and continues as chief operating officer, along with Billabong SVP Global Operations and IT Mike Yerkes, who was named chief logistics officer.

Company Position

Billabong reported $357 million in revenue for the first half of the year, about the same as a year earlier, and since the purchase closed has delisted from the Australian Securities Exchange.

Privately held Boardriders, meanwhile, has “dramatically improved its operational and financial performance since its turnaround began in February, 2016,” according to a statement it issued in January, though it didn’t provide dollar figures to support that.

(Original Story can be found: 


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