QUIKSILVER SAYS GOODBYE TO ANDY MOONEY
3 days ago
We’ve all been there: You’re arguing with a friend, and mid-banter he justifies a questionable point with an all-too-vague “they say.” You let him win this time for the sake of ease, but you can’t help wondering who the fuck “they” really are.
Right here, right now, that argument is about what in the hell happened to Quiksilver, surfing’s behemoth of a brand that once defined coastal culture as a whole, that spoke for generations of surf enthusiasts, before hitting the fan in a messiest of fashions. Well, for brevity’s sake, Andy Mooney happened. But he wasn’t alone… he brought friends, too!
Jadson Andre was runner up on the Landes Coast last year. Andy Mooney is runner up in the boardroom this year. Photo: WSL/Kirstin
Andy Mooney, a five-foot-six Scottish gent, former Disney employee and surfing virgin, speaks a wonderful game. His English, while requiring a stretch of the ear to understand, sounded simply fab. Enthralling! He entered the Quik scene when things were grim, speaking about the future of Quiksilver like he was positive everything was going to work. He convinced division heads to lay off long-time friends and trusted employees, all for his dream for the biz… a share price of $12. A dream fuelled by his healthy bonus which came in the form of two million shares. That is, if he pulled it off, a pay out of $24 million big ones.
Since he “joined the team” (ha!), the following two years at Quik were rocky, to say the least. Today, however, a sliver of light shined bright over a comparatively large span of darkness at the company. Andy Mooney was let go from Quiksilver. His spot as CEO, however, didn’t stay open for long.
Pierre Agnes, a small yet intimidating Frenchman, has been appointed CEO. Remember when Quik bought Rossignol? The acquisition that failed miserably? Pierre was the guy responsible for keeping Quik’s head above water, bringing the company back to life.
Let’s rewind two years. Bob McNight (CEO at the time) knew he needed help, and Andy was all-too happy to stick his arm up and convince Quik’s board of directors into giving him complete control of the biz. A persuasive man with a silk-tongue, clearly. The board had dollar signs in their eyes and shareholders to please, so, they proceeded to jump into bed with a monster too scary even for the disney franchise. Andy brought in his “A-Team” to get Quik back on track, streamlined, and ready to sell.
Mr Florence, owning a French sand-bottom joint at World Tour level. Thanks to Quik fam like Pierre, you’ll get to see this kinda thing for more years to come. Photo: WSL
Let’s quickly highlight some of Andy’s achievements since then. First, he orchestrated the massacre of over 250 staff members (their jobs, that is), which included snipping people that had been with the brand for over 20 years. Sure, he needed to trim a little fat but instead he cut the whole chest off, completely wiping out Quiksilver Womens, Moskova, and VSTR. Want some icing on that cake? He managed to lose the very person that put Quiksilver on the map, Kelly Slater.
Now for Andy’s friends. First in command was a his CMO, Nick Drake. A six-foot-four handsome rugby player from England who’s a well respected gent in the agency world, with a few notable scalps hanging from his belt. Nick possesses a very special skill. He’ll make you feel like you’re the only person in the world that matters, tell you everything you want to hear, and then, not return your emails and neg on his word, and was even overheard saying that Kelly Slater is too old to be the face of Quiksilver. Okay Nick… right.
Nick then brought his pals in from Chiat Day, each successful in the worlds outside of surfing, but lacking the relationships key to success in this industry. Used to a dog-eat-dog world, where individuals will do anything to get ahead, Nick and his team quickly realised that the Surf world takes care of its own. Long story short, that was the end of Nick Drake. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine! He got a healthy payout of around $750,000 thanks to a perfectly-negotiated contract, on his part.
Hopefully Mr Slater hasn’t drifted beyond Quik’s view into the sunset forever. Photo: Rabejac
What followed wasn’t pretty for Andy Mooney and his wild bunch. Pierre, from his distant office in France, held his tongue, and acted quietly, launched a subvert assault that got people away from Andy, and closer to him. He recruited both his design and marketing teams to work out of the office in France, drawing what was left of Quik’s good folk away from Andy’s poison. He promoted from within, trusting the people he had hired to do their jobs. After cutting off Andy’s oxygen, all he had to do was sit back and let him self-destruct. Pierre knew share prices could only stay so high for a short length of time and would plummet again, shortly.
Well, it worked. Today is a big win for both Quiksilver and surfers alike, a fable that paints a clear picture… surfers should be running surf companies. Simple as that.
We have one question, though… will Kelly rekindle his relationship with Quiksilver? With strong ties to both Pierre and Bob (not to mention a shit-ton of shares), we certainly aren’t counting it out.