Jan Valdmaa has been appointed chief executive officer of the O’Neill Group, a leading surf, snow and lifestyle brand that was originally founded in Northern California in 1952. Mr. Valdmaa will replace interim CEO Tom Heidman.
Born in 1955, Jan Valdmaa is a Swedish national who has previously held a number of important senior management roles working with a selection of the world’s leading sports brands.
After joining Adidas in 1990, Valdmaa soon moved to the company’s global headquarters in Germany where he headed up the Sports Apparel Business Unit before working his way up further to the position of EVP Global Marketing. In 2000, Valdmaa left Adidas to join Helly Hansen as CEO. Having overseen the successful sale of the Nordic outdoor sports brand in 2006, Valdmaa was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Integrix Sports Group, and only six months later also assumed the role of CEO. During his time at Integrix, Valdmaa played a key role in restoring the fortunes of Fila, the iconic Italian and now South Korean-owned sports brand.
“I’m delighted to be joining the O’Neill Group as the company continues to move towards its goal of growing the O'Neill brand on a worldwide scale,” said Jan Valdmaa. “O’Neill boasts such an enviable heritage in surf and snow, and the prospect of leading this inspiring brand really is one that I look forward to undertaking immensely.”
Tom Heidman, CEO of Logo International, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Jan as CEO of the O’Neill Group. I strongly believe that Jan’s breadth of experience in the lifestyle sports brands industry together with his equally impressive experience in change management make him exceptionally qualified for the task at hand. With the ongoing support of O’Neill Group COO & CFO Arjan Kaaks, I have no doubt that Jan will lead O’Neill successfully, taking the business to the next level while also nurturing the brand’s rich heritage and authenticity.”
Valdmaa, who continues in his role of Chairman of the Board of Integrix Sports Group, will take to the helm at the O’Neill Group on June 1, 2009.