Stab Magazine | Search For Quik CEO Pierre Agnes Growing Desperate

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Search For Quik CEO Pierre Agnes Growing Desperate

Updates from Hossegor, as French Coastguard ships, helicopters, and search teams work tirelessly through the night.

news // Jan 31, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It has been 12 hours since Pierre Agnes pointed his 11-meter sailboat out of Capbreton Harbor, like he’d proudly done so many times, and headed to fish for squid along the deep-water canyon just off Hossegor, the very same canyon that contributes the raw power and size to the remarkable beachbreaks nearby.

When Agnes’ boat washed up two hours after leaving harbor, just a mile or so from the inlet from which he launched, a thick fog had blanketed the area, as a rescue search ensued.

By midday, four-to-six foot rippable surf littered the coast, as surfers hoping to get a lunchtime session at La Graviere found crowds gathered near the wreckage of Agnes’ boat, with skies clearing overhead but no sign of the boat’s captain. 

French authorities have declared Agnes lost at sea. Three coastguard helicopters, two ships, and a fleet of agents are combing the coastline.  

News of the Quiksilver CEO’s boat washing ashore Tuesday morning began to trickle through Hossegor, where Quiksilver keeps headquarters, while European news outlets picked up the story.

According to many at the company, employees didn’t seem to know what to do or how to react. With little information to add to the developing story, a brief, company-wide meeting was held to address the missing CEO.

According to boots on the ground, most believe Agnes was out fishing alone. 

“I think he was out alone,” a source close to the source told Stab. “I know he was a pretty proud fisherman, was always all about it, and he goes out a lot. 

He did spend a lot of time in the water. He was a really good swimmer, if it happened near shore, and he would have known where to swim in, he would have been good enough to swim in. 

But it was really foggy this morning, though. You couldn’t see shit. 

It’s dark now. 10 degrees. Maybe 12 degrees. We heard someone say they found a body but couldn’t identify it, but that’s probably bullshit. 

Some people seem hopeful, but if the boat washed in right there at Hossegor, it’s not like there’s empty stretches. There’s accesses and houses and people everywhere.”

Agnes has been a major part of the Quiksilver dynasty, joining the brand in 2005 as Managing Director of Quiksilver Europe (after thirteen years running Omareef Europe a licensee of the company for wetsuits and eyewear, which was purchased in November 2002), before taking over as President of Quik Europe in 2005.

After a brief stint as the brand’s Global Head of Apparel in 2013, Agnes was appointed President. 

According to Transworld Business, “In light of [Bob] McKnight’s retirement as executive chairman [in 2014], the board of directors appointed current CEO Andy Mooney as chairman of the board, effective November 1, 2014. The board also appointed Pierre Agnes to the position of President, effective November 1, 2014.”

In the wake of Mooney’s dramatic firing shortly thereafter, Agnes filled the position of CEO, and took a seat on the company’s board. 

With the announcement earlier this year confirming rumors of longtime industry rivals Quiksilver’s and Billabong’s merger, Agnes’ role in the transition would be crucial. 

It is dark now in France, and with no sign of the 54-year-old, the chances of survival in such situations become slimmer and slimmer. With search parties working into the night, our most positive thoughts are with the Agnes family, and those close to the beloved industry figurehead. 



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