Changing of the Guard at Louis Garneau Sports
William Garneau, 27, has been named general manager at Louis Garneau Sports (LGS). In December, he took over the reins from his legendary father, Louis Garneau, who founded the global sportswear company in 1983.
It was a tweet from longtime friend and supporter Pierre Karl Péladeau, CEO of Quebecor, that broke the news: “Congratulations to William Garneau, who has been named director-general of Group @Louis_Garneau.” Péladeau was attending an LGS Christmas party on Dec. 8 when Louis made the announcement.
Louis added that he hopes that his two other children, Edouard, who is director of sales-IBD USA, and Victoria, who is currently completing her college studies in fashion design, will eventually join William to run the company.
Louis started LGS in his father’s garage, and grew it into a global enterprise of more than 500 employees and $50 million in sales. A year after founding his company, Louis competed for Canada in the road race at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Louis designed the National team’s kit for those Games, and since then, LGS has continuously been the official cycling-apparel sponsor of Cycling Canada for all cycling disciplines.
William has an MBA and raced for Canada back in 2008 at the Junior Road World Championships. He has held various roles at the company, including all aspects of its Dreamfactory custom-bike program, as well as sourcing and procurement. Father and son jointly accepted an award at Eurobike in 2016 for Garneau’s Dreamfactory Trilogy concept.
“Garneau is more than a company; it’s a family,” said William. “I’m grateful to my father and my brother Edouard for entrusting me with this tremendous responsibility.”
Louis will remain the president designer, influencing seasonal collections, nurturing new talent and leaving his imprint on the creative direction of the brand.
When interviewed for LGS’s 30th anniversary, Louis spoke about plans for succession, saying, “Only 30% of companies are carried on by the second generation, and only some 10% of companies are still run by the family after two generations. I’m going to play with the 30%.”