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John Hunt: Wally Yacht CEO and Entrepreneur

John Hunt is the Chairman and CEO of Wally Yachts but he is also credited with a long line of successful business investments that range from digital communications to wine production and espresso bars.

Hunt is a serial entrepreneur and vesture investor who has created and co-created companies that vary in specialty but all have one thing in common: success. He has started digital communication companies, wine production companies, e-commerce software, espresso bars and even luxury resorts.

In 1988 Starbucks acquired the UK espresso bar that Hunt co-founded called Seattle Coffee Company and not long after that his web agency, Syzygy, went public in Germany at 200 million euros.

Wally Yachts was founded out of dissatisfaction with the market in 1994. When Luca Bassani Antivari was unable to find a yacht that fit his requirements, he designed and built a vessel that had the ability to sail solo with remarkable luxury and safety. Soon after, he was bombarded with requests from other wanting a piece of the custom yacht pie. The brand has since built over 50 yachts and incorporated a collaboration with Hermes along the way.

Hunt is now the Chairman and CEO of Wally Yachts and he is launching a series of exciting new models and expanding the markets outside core demand in the Mediterranean. Hunt says that making Wally yachts smarter and simpler to operate means that people who do not necessarily come from a sailing background can quickly learn to compete, and enjoy, along with the world’s best.

The company is seeing strong interest outside its traditional Mediterranean market, stretching as far as Australia. Hunt says that as economies boom, people are investing more in quality of life.  In 2011, Wally will launch three important new concepts including a high-performance, racer-cruiser series called Wally/Cento, a long-distance motor yacht called Wally/Ace which includes a fuel-efficient loft living on the sea, and a final closely guarded secret which will be launched over the summer in St. Tropez ad will be part of their overall focus on “smarter” vessels.

Hunt says that moving forward the biggest challenge will be to keep an inherently innovative organization focused on today. He adds that his strategy his driven by “innovation, quality and performance; strategic obsessions that have always driven Wally.”

Source: Luxury Society

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014