As of Thursday, October 8, 2015
After more than 40 years in the surf business, Bob Hurley is stepping down as the chief executive officer of Hurley International, which he sold to Nike Inc. in 2002.
Nike announced Hurley’s departure on Oct. 6, saying that the founder of the surf-apparel brand, whose headquarters are in Costa Mesa, Calif., will transition into a new role focusing on building and cultivating the community and extending Nike’s relationships with elite athletes.
Taking over management of the Hurley business will be Nike veteran Bob Coombes, vice president and general manager of Hurley.
“Bob is a legend in the surf and action-sports industry who grew his passion into a globally recognized brand that stands for creativity, innovation and community,” said Mark Parker, president and chief executive of Nike Inc. “We look forward to continuing our work together to build the Hurley brand globally.”
Hurley grew up in Orange County, learning to surf at 13. At 21, Hurley learned to shape surfboards, and in 1978 he opened Hurley Surfboards, a small factory-retail outlet in Huntington Beach. He was still making boards when in 1983 he acquired the U.S. license for Australia-based Billabong surfwear for $40,000.
The surf icon was president of Billabong USA from 1983 to 1998 before giving up the lucrative Billabong license and launching Hurley.
Hurley said he looks forward to what he does best—spending time with the community and growing the sport with athletes.