CDK Group appointing Stéphane Digard General Manager

CDK Group appointing Stéphane Digard General Manager

CDK Group appointing Stéphane Digard General Manager

Sailing boat

11/01/2023 - 16:48

After a year spent confirming the various areas for development, CDK Group is making changes to its organisation, appointing Stéphane Digard General Manager to succeed Cyril Abiteboul. Moreover, CDK Group is announcing the creation of a Strategic Council, in which Cyril Abiteboul will participate, presided over by Loïck Peyron.

An intense 2022
2022 proved to be an intense year for CDK Technologies.The yard created 5 leading IMOCA monohulls and helped build the TGMC consortium's first mast for the Chantiers de l'Atlantique Solid Sail project. 2022 also saw several strategic developments, including the purchase of the C3 Technologies yard in La Rochelle and the launch of the project to expand CDK Technologies' workshops on the Lorient site. 2023 is shaping up be just as intense, with renewed prospects spanning racing and the marine industry.

2023 marks a new chapter for CDK Group
Within this very solid commercial context, CDK Group is taking its organisation to the next level:

• Stéphane Digard, previously Assistant General Manager for CDK Technologies, has been appointed General Manager of CDK Group.

• Stéphane Digard will be supported by Yann Dollo, Assistant General Manager. Romain Cachia, previously heading up the design office, has been appointed Technical Director of the yard.

• This experienced Management team will now be able to count on the support of a Strategic Council presided over by Loïck Peyron. Fittingly, the sailor of international renown is joining the yard, which has built a number of his very successful race boats, notably including Banque Populaire V (today’s Spindrift2-Sails of Change) that prompted CDK to set up its Lorient site in 2007 and with which Loïck broke the crewed Round the World record, the Jules Verne Trophy, in 2012 in a time of 45 days…

Creation of a Strategic Council
Within the context of CDK Group’s diversification both across France and internationally by 2024, which are driving its plans to further extend its manufacturing sites, the Strategic Council responsible for providing advice and strategic direction, as well as support with its accomplishment, will gather around Loïck Peyron:

• Cyril Abiteboul, who is keen for his commitment to CDK Group to evolve in order to pursue other personal projects. Through his contribution to the Strategic Council, he’ll continue to support the CDK Group’s plans for development and will remain one of its shareholders alongside Inspiring Sport Capital.

• Jean-Marie Buignet, Managing Director of C3Technologies, whose main focus will be on ensuring the proper implementation of C3Technologies’ merger between CDK Technologies.

• Bruno Cercley, ex CEO of Rossignol (until 2021) and member of the Board of Directors, CEO of Aqualung and a shareholder of CDK Group, who will bring to the group his international experience at the head of some of the greatest sporting brands.

Lucien Boyer, representing Inspiring Sport Capital, President of CDK Group: “We’re very pleased to promote Stéphane Digard to his new role as General Manager. Recognised by one and all as a consummate professional in the field of carbon construction for nearly three decades, CDK Technologies’ development over the past ten years is largely down to Stéphane and he has helped make the yard what it is today, namely a leader, which is recognised and respected by offshore racing’s main protagonists. As such, it is only natural that he should take up the position as head of the yard for the implementation of an ambitious development project, which is very much in line with CDK Technologies’ tradition for demanding the very highest of standards.
I’d also like to thank Cyril Abiteboul for his assistance with this decisive phase: his analysis of the environment and its challenges has enabled us to confirm our strategy and build an organisation geared up for the challenges and objectives of the coming years. We wish him all the very best for his other projects and we’re thrilled that he has agreed to continue giving us the benefit of his input through his role in CDK Group’s Strategic Council.
Finally, I’m delighted and very proud to witness the arrival of Loïck Peyron as president of the Strategic Council. Loïck’s remarkable and unequalled track record in all the most prestigious races across France and internationally, his unique experience spanning more than forty years of boats at the cutting edge of technology, from Ultim to IMOCA, his constant consideration of the domain of offshore racing and the marine world, and his communicative passion, make him the perfect captain of this committee.
Naturally, everyone will be able to count on the full support of Inspiring Sport Capital in the implementation of our development plan.”

Cyril Abiteboul: “Discovering the offshore racing universe and supporting CDK Technologies’ team during this special period in its life has been a great pleasure and an immense source of pride. I hope that I’ve been able to assist Inspiring Sport Capital and the CDK Technologies’ teams with confirming their intuition and refining their plans for the yard’s development, as well as putting in place the strategic framework for achieving their goals. There will be plenty of opportunities going forward and I have complete confidence in Stéphane Digard’s ability to pen the next few lines in the company’s history. Along with the other members of the Strategic Council under Loïck Peyron’s leadership, I will stand alongside Stéphane to assist him with his new mission.”

Stéphane Digard: “Having spent 8 years alongside Philippe Facque developing CDK, Cyril Abiteboul’s arrival on the scene has given us a very interesting external vision which is both complementary and novel. It has enabled us to work on an overall plan to transform the yard. His input has been very constructive. We needed his external perspective to make us aware of the fact that we needed to rethink the organisation in order to satisfy the development goals built with Inspiring Sport Capital and all the shareholders.
I’m very happy that Cyril and all the shareholders have chosen to trust in me to become CDK’s General Manager. However, if I am to succeed in this mission, I’d like to rely on all CDK Technologies’ resources, with the support of all the teams which have made it possible for us to get to where we are today. I’ve relished working with Cyril. His vision has been crucial and very constructive. His presence within the Strategic Council provides real continuity in the implementation of the action plan we have decided on together.”

Loïck Peyron: “I would like to thank Inspiring Sport Capital for placing their trust in me. I’m thrilled at the prospect of setting in motion this collaboration with the CDK Technologies yard, which has always meant a great deal to me as I’ve raced for thousands of miles aboard the fine boats built by the yard and I continue to do so… Indeed, at this very moment, I am mid-Atlantic on a MOD 70 built by CDK!
Accompanying CDK Technologies with her ambitious developments and helping to build exceptional boats greatly appeals to me. To think that the solo round the world record has improved by 83 days in 28 years on two boats designed by VPLP and built by CDK Technologies testifies to the role the yard has played in the revolution we’ve seen in offshore racing, which now enables boats to fly: Olivier de Kersauson became the fastest single-handed trimaran’s sailor to circumnavigate the globe in 1989 in 125 days aboard ‘Un autre regard’, built at CDK by Hubert Desjoyeaux; François Gabart took this performance to another level in 2017 with a time of 45 days aboard the Ultim MACIF, she too built at CDK, by Stéphane Digard. I’m delighted to be able to support Stéphane and the whole of the CDK team by chairing our small Strategic Council group, where I’m particularly relishing the opportunity to count on the ideas put forward by Cyril Abiteboul, to whom I also wish great success with his other projects.”

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