Billabong strengthens management team in Europe
Jean-Louis Rodrigues, CEO of Billabong Europe, is bolstering his management team. To head up his design and merchandising teams, he chose to recruit a longtime veteran of one of its biggest rivals. John Kress spent fifteen years at Quiksilver, in St. Jean de Luz, where he most recently served as designer for Europe.
Originally from Alsace, Kress began his career as a luxury designer at Chanel, Christian Dior, Guy Laroche and Lanvin between 1988 and 1994. He then joined Rip Curl to lead the design team from 1994 to 1999.
His responsibilities will include working on products for the European market in collaboration with American and Australian design teams.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Burger is Billabong’s new sales manager Europe.
Having served as sales manager Europe for the of the mountain bike company Fox Head for two years, for which he was head of sales for some thirty countries, he will now become sales director Europe for Billabong.
Before Fox, Burger spent ten years at Nike, first in France, where he was responsible for its running and tennis divisions. From 2009 to 2011 he was responsible for Nike’s ”action sports" sales in Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa. And for one year, he joined Nike Russia to direct its performance sports division.
"Our main goal is to stabilize our business in Europe,” said Burger in the brand’s press release. “Our retail division is leading the way with 10% growth last year in Europe. I will actively work to reinforce our "Go To Market" integration, both internally by working very closely with our product, marketing and retail divisions and externally by strengthening our collaboration with our main partners in Europe." The strategy intiated thus seems clearly oriented towards retail development.
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