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Quiksilver Names Rival Surf-Wear Officer as President : Management: Shaheen Sadeghi, a development and marketing specialist, says his priority will be to diversify the company’s product line.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A top executive of Gotcha Sportswear Inc. has been selected as the new president of rival Quiksilver Inc., one of the largest surf-wear design companies in Orange County.

Shaheen Sadeghi, 37, will fill a position at Quiksilver that was left vacant when Robert B. McKnight moved from president to chairman earlier this month. The management shifts began when John C. Warner departed as chairman to become a consultant concentrating on Quiksilver’s European division.

Sadeghi is a specialist in developing and marketing new fashions. He worked for four years at Gotcha in Irvine, more than three of them as executive vice president, and spent eight years at Jantzen Inc. in Portland, Ore., as an executive in design, merchandising and international manufacturing. Sadeghi, a Laguna Beach resident, is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York, where he studied fashion design and merchandising. He also received a business degree from a college in East Lansing, Mich.

Sadeghi said the company’s priority will be in building on its Quiksilver label by innovating and branching out into other kinds of surf wear, although he would not divulge specific plans.

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McKnight said he and Sadeghi agree on the need to move Quiksilver back into the forefront of the industry to allay lingering concerns over whether Quiksilver has lost its edge in the razor-sharp competition among surf-wear firms.

“This is the guy who will create, focus, reshape, retool and refocus,” McKnight said. “We need to be responsive to the marketplace.”

McKnight said he does not believe that the appointment of Sadeghi will result in any ill will with Gotcha President Michael Tomson, with whom McKnight works closely on the recently created Surf Industry Manufacturers Assn. “I think both of us are grown-ups,” McKnight said of Tomson, who could not be reached for comment.

Quiksilver, with $55.7 million in assets, is considered the second largest surf-wear maker in Orange County, behind Ocean Pacific Sunwear Ltd. in Tustin.

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