The Quiksilver story
Published by Quiksilver Entertainment (US), 2006.
This is a story in two parts. The first part begins in mid-2004, when after five years as head of marketing for Quiksilver Europe, I was transferred to global HQ at Huntington Beach, California, to head up a special projects division of Quiksilver Entertainment. The first project was to be a comprehensive history of the brand in book and DVD form, so I hired Surfers Journal designer Jeff Girard to work up a dummy with me, then brought in Chronicle Books in San Francisco as our publishing partner.
About a year into the production I was summoned to a Sunday morning meeting with Quiksilver’s new global president Bernard Mariette and founding CEO Bob McKnight at Bernard’s sumptuous Newport spread. I knew this wasn’t going to be good – Sundays were all about surf and volleyball for Bob. They didn’t like the way the book was shaping. Bernard said there was too much past and not enough present. In other words, not enough about him. We argued and the two corporate heavies basically told me I had two options: start again, or start booking a flight home.
When I explained the new direction to Chronicle they immediately pulled out of the deal, meaning Quiksilver would have to fund the huge print bills for a book that had lost much of its credibility. None of this mattered to my bosses. They wanted to explain the ill-conceived and ill-fated Rossignol takeover and convince their shareholders the brand was on track to rule the huge outdoors market, and it didn’t matter how much that cost.
Following the model established by Mr Sunset nearly a decade earlier, Quiksilver Entertainment toured the big, fat, unwieldy coffee table book full of corporate ads around the world with a series of lavish launches. It’s not a book I’m proud of and after final edit I never opened it again. But every word I was forced to take out, I filed away for a future project.
Which brings us to the second part of the story.