Steve Veytia, a seasoned American executive who has worked in the action sports sector in Europe for many years, has stepped aside as managing director of One Distribution, the European subsidiary of the fast-growing Supra brand of skate and lifestyle shoes from the U.S., to return to the sporting goods business.
Reaching a global turnover of more than $100 million, Supra has been developing strongly worldwide without fanfare, flying under the radar so to speak.
With 35 employees at offices in the Basque region of France, Berlin and London, One Distribution has achieved an annual turnover of more than €25 million. The European business has been constantly growing for six years ? in some cases at a rate of more than 60 percent ? and orders for spring/summer 2013 are up by 30 percent.
With three-quarters of its turnover is in the fashion segment, Supra has gained in six years a presence at major accounts such as Journeys in the U.S., Schuh, Size! and Offspring in the U.K., Goertz 17 and Kicz in Germany, or Galeries Lafayette, Citadium and Courir in France.
Veytia left the company a few weeks ago after six months of conflicts of views with the U.S. management of Supra, but he remains a shareholder in the U.S. company and its European distribution subsidiary.
In August 2010, with the help of private equity investors, Veytia and other company managers bought out the shares of Supra's former controlling shareholder, a public Chinese company called Rave Glorious Sun.
Veytia, who is now 46 years old, is going for an interesting new challenge in the area of sports health. Still based in France, he has become an investor in Hyperice and global chief executive of this new company, which has developed and patented a special ice compression technology that people can use to recover from muscle fatigue more quickly.
Other important investors are expected to pitch into the project over the next few weeks.
Veytia joined Supra in 2006 after running the European office of Ocean Pacific. A member of the family that founded Vans and sold it to VF Corporation, he previously worked in the U.S. and Europe for Switch, Northwave, Drake, Billabong and other companies.
Veytia intends to structure the European distribution of Hyperice in a way similar to the successful business model that he adopted for the distribution of Supra skate and lifestyle footwear (more in Sporting Goods Intelligence Europe).