The hiring of seasoned eyewear executive Michael Marckx as Global GM for VonZipper this week signals more than just a new leader for the sunglass brand.
The move underscores parent company Billabong’s decision to keep VonZipper in its portfolio after running a sale process last year for VonZipper, Xcel and fashion brand Tigerlily in a quest to simplify its business.
Tigerlily ended up selling for A$60 million to private equity firm Crescent Capital Partners.
However, Billabong decided to hold on to VonZipper and Xcel for now because the offers that came in were too low, CEO Neil Fiske told us in a recent interview.
“As you know, we had run a sale process on Xcel and Von Zipper earlier this year,” he said. “What we realized is that the value that we would want wasn’t coming through in the offers we were getting. Frankly, they were worth more to us than we were getting offered through that process.
“We think they are good brands and we think we can tuck them in and turn them around and keep them growing. I think they will stay with us. The good news is we have certainty they will be in our portfolio, so let’s get on with it, let’s start getting good results out of them.
“All together what that means is while we are always up for simplification, at this point most of the simplification that we have done is what we are going to do,” he said.
When the hiring of Michael Marckx was announced, Neil told us, “We think VonZipper is a wonderful brand with a distinctive position in the market and definitely has the growth potential with the right leadership and support.”