French authorities have deployed a fleet of helicopters and boats off the coast of southwest France to search for Pierre Agnes, the chief executive officer of sporting company Boardriders Inc. – the parent of the Quiksilver, Roxy, and DC Shoes brands. Agnes has been missing since Tuesday morning and the search party sent to find him was formed after his empty boat was found washed ashore the French Atlantic beach town of Capbreton.
Agnes set out aboard his 36-foot boat on a routine fishing trip on Tuesday morning from Capbreton, the surf resort town in southwestern France in which he lives with his wife and children. The coast of Capbreton is known for it’s intense and often dangerous waves that are prized by surfers. According to Agence France-Press, after Agnes left the harbor he told authorities that because of fog, he would return later than he’d initially planned.
The CEO of Boardriders is still missing, and things took a turn for the worse later on Tuesday when his boat was discovered run aground and empty on a beach 15 miles south of Capbreton. Shortly after, four vessels and four helicopters were sent out in search of Agnes. The local coast guard suspended the search on Tuesday night and resumed the operation Wednesday morning. Now, family, friends, and an entire surf community are waiting to hear more news.
“The Boardriders family and entire surfing world are devastated by this news,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “We are concentrating on working with the local authorities on the search and rescue effort and supporting Pierre’s family.”
Who is Pierre Agnes?
Pierre Agnes (54) is the CEO of Quiksilver, now Boardriders, a surf culture company that was founded in Australia more than 40 years ago. In 2003, he served as Managing Director of Quiksilver Europe and eventually worked his way up to the position of CEO, which he’s held since 2015. As CEO, he’s responsible for overseeing all aspects of Quiksilver’s operations, finance, sales and marketing organizations in their respective territories. Agnes recently oversaw a deal that brought Quiksilver together with fellow surfwear brand Billabong under the Boardriders umbrella.
His disappearance has caused great anguish in the surfing world.
“I love this man,” Kelly Slater, an 11-time World Surf League champion, said in an Instagram post.
“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,” wrote Slater, who used to be sponsored by Quiksilver.
In a statement, the World Surf League noted the “deeply concerning reports” about Agnes’ disappearance.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family all at this time, as well as the search and rescue teams,” it said.