Quiksilver CEO missing after his empty boat washes up on French beach

Quiksilver CEO Pierre Agnès is lost at sea

Rescuers were scouring the Bay of Biscay waters off Hossegor, a surfing resort from where the 54-year-old Agnes set sail early in the morning, the Landes prefecture said.

French authorities have deployed boats and helicopters after Pierre Agnes' 11-metre Mascaret III speedboat was found on the beach on Tuesday in nearby Hossegor.

Agnes, who has been with the iconic brand for almost 30 years, became the CEO of the now-struggling company in 2015. Later in the morning his boat was recovered on the beach near his hometown and Pierre has not been heard from since. "We are concentrating on working with the local authorities on the search and rescue effort and supporting Pierre's family". The Boardriders family and entire surfing world are devastated by this news.

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Mr Agnès travels widely on business but spends as much time as possible in south-western France, where he first surfed.

Surf legend Kelly Slater posted a tribute to Mr Agnes on Wednesday, saying he is "praying for a miracle" he is found alive.

A USA investment group, Oaktree Capital, controls Boardriders and already owns 19% of Billabong. But they both ran into trouble more recently with sinking sales and profits. It was bailed out by Oaktree Capital Management, a Los Angeles-based investment firm that specializes in buying companies in financial difficulties and turning them around.

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