Dutchman Willem Haitink will become O’Neill’s new CEO on 1 September. He will succeed Jan Valdmaa, the Swede who led the Californian surfers’ brand for the last two years.
“Willem is well respected in the industry and we are confident that he will fit in with O’Neill very quickly.”, says Ronald de Waal, owner of WE International – the group O’Neill is part of since 2007. “With his quality and experience he is the right fit to propel O’Neill growth on a global scale, where we aim to become the preferred international brand in our industry over the coming years.”
Haitink is equally enthusiastic about his new employer: “I am thrilled to be working for a brand with such a rich history,” he said, “and I look forward to spearheading the growth of O’Neill globally and bringing the brand closer to consumers around the world in a manner which fits the authenticity of the brand,” he said.”
World trip for Nike/Converse
Haitink has worked at Nike for 16 years, in the US, Canada, Mexico and China. In the latter he made the company the market leader, led the company’s team at the Olympic games in Peking and strengthened customer relations. His current occupation is managing Converse Europe, Middle-East and Africa after Nike acquired the legendary sneaker brand in 2003.