Andreas Adenauer, a high-profile fashion executive, has been recruited as chief executive officer of the newly-formed O’Neill Group, a new position created for him to supervise the global business of the American action sports brand. The O’Neill Group was issued earlier this year from the merger of O’Neill Europe, the brand’s European licensee, and O’Neill Inc, its American licensor, after both of them were acquired by Logo International, a big Dutch fashion apparel company.
The 42-year-old Adenauer spent the last 10 years at Esprit where he established “edc by Esprit,” a younger fashion label; headed up the Esprit brand’s female casual business globally; and most recently worked as a managing director for Esprit North America. A keen snowboarder, windsurfer and skateboarder, Adenauer will strive to harmonize O’Neill’s operations on both sides of the Atlantic, which have been more or less independent and sometimes at loggerheads over the last years.
This lack of a global strategy has prevented the brand from growing at the same rates as some of its competitors, and to fully exploit opportunities in emerging markets. Logo International, the holding company for fashion operations such as WE Europe and Waalwear, is betting that Adenauer’s experience with Esprit will enable him to build O’Neill into another truly global brand. More details on the brand’s international strategy should be revealed later this year.
Adenauer will supervise Frank van der Klaauw, the former Heineken manager who was placed at the head of O’Neill Europe last year. On the American side, the O’Neill brand is still licensed to La Jolla. As part of the acquisition by Logo International, Theo Dietz, the Dutchman who built up O’Neill Europe, has left the company along with Nick Verwer, former chief executive and board member.