Orange County Business Journal

Woolcott to Exec Chairman at Volcom

Kari Hamanaka Monday, December 17, 2012

Richard Woolcott, the co-founder and chief executive of Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc., is expected to step down at the end of the year and become executive chairman at the action sports company.

It is a new position at Volcom, which makes clothes, shoes and accessories inspired by action sports, music and art.

The company had $352.6 million in sales last year, up 9% from a year earlier.

Current Volcom President Jason Steris will become chief executive, effective Jan. 1.

“I believe we have created an enduring brand and have been successful largely by diversifying our business, regularly attacking new opportunities and always remaining true to our riding heritage," Woolcott said in a statement. "Now I want to devote more time and effort to working with the Volcom team from a creative and branding standpoint, and explore new ways to evolve the company that are unique and remain at the forefront of our industry.”

The announcement caps a more than 20-year run for Woolcott as chief executive of the company he co-founded with friend Tucker Hall in 1991.The two worked out of their bedrooms, growing the company with its “Youth Against Establishment” brand motto.

Volcom went public in 2005, raising $89 million in an initial public offering.

The company was sold to Paris-based PPR SA—parent of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent among other luxury brands—last year for $608 million.

Steris has been with Volcom since 1993, when he joined the company as its Southern California sales representative. He was named president in 2008.