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Former Volcom Australia GM Dougall Walker discusses his exit from the company and Volcom’s pending sale under Kering. Find out why Dougall thinks operating under Oaktree management is a good thing for our industry under Boardriders bid for Billabong where he headed the Australian operation for over 20 years in this revealing 45 min interview with Mark Eymes. Dougall’s deep insights on the deal point to one possible future for this CaptainOfIndustry.

The bullet point highlights;

  • How the Volcom Australian business is the only region returning a profit (3mins)
  • Private vs Public company’s in our industry, good or bad ? (5min 15)
  • The ‘good people’ at Boardriders and Oaktree (9mins) as well as Oaktrees long term vision and due diligence on the sale (14mins 15sec)
  • Former Billabong Exec. Matthew Perrin was a good CEO (16mins 30sec) and Gary Pemberton an ‘excellent’ Chairman. Ted Kunkel was the ‘weak link’ and history repeats itself, Fosters – Beringer wines (22min 30secs)
  • What Gordon Merchant might be thinking (25min 20) “Billabong’s not just about you”…and a hotel room discussion the two had.
  • Profitability Vs Revenue (29mins) and how two companies (Quiksilver and Billabong) who’ve turned over $10b in the last few years  have returned zero profit. 1000’s of workers doing good work and a market flooded with product to return no profit is a ‘crime’.
  • How Volcom Execs denied the sale of the business and the exit of former CEO Jason Seris. (36min 30)
  • Dougall’s role as ‘Captain/Coach’ and building good teams with good people at Volcom producing quality work ‘Taken back’ by the redundancy package after delivering profit for 5 years in a turn around of the APAC business. Alison Thomas the first female GM in a predominantly male business, very happy with Alisons work. (38min 20)
  • The clean up of Billabong and Quiksilver ultimately a good thing for our industry and given its best shot under Oaktree (43min 40)
  • Hear Dougall’s thoughts on wave pools (44mins)  the Olympics (47 mins)  and opportunities for surf retailers.

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