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Oakley CEO Buys Home (and View) for $7 Million

Real estate: The price of the sunglasses maker's vacation house sets a record at Newport Coast. Another $8 million buys an acre.

October 12, 1999|DARYL STRICKLAND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Oakley Inc. founder and Chairman Jim Jannard, who last week announced he was taking the reins of the Foothill Ranch sunglasses maker, has found a home closer to work.

Jannard paid roughly $7 million for a 12,000-square-foot house in the hills above Newport Beach and Corona del Mar, one of the largest residential real estate transactions in California this year. In addition, Jannard and an unidentified partner paid roughly $8 million for at least an acre of nearby land in the prestigious Newport Coast project, brokers said.

Jannard, whose main residence is in Washington state's San Juan Islands, plans to make the six-bedroom and eight-and-a half bathroom Newport Coast home his vacation pad, Oakley spokeswoman Renee Law said. The land was purchased as an investment, she said.

The price for the house set a record for a resale home in the Newport Coast project, the Irvine Co.'s priciest home development. The project, which will contain 2,600 homes when completed, is more than half built.

The three-story, Mediterranean-style home had been owned by Boris Reznik, chief executive of Optum Software, a privately held Costa Mesa software company that merged with Metasys Inc. last year. The home's first floor consisted almost entirely of gym equipment, including an indoor pool, a steam bath, a Jacuzzi and exercise equipment. The home has a tennis court and a view overlooking Pelican Hills Golf Course, Newport Harbor and the Pacific Ocean.

Earlier this year, the home was listed for $9.4 million, the highest in Newport Coast. It was on the market for about six months, a relatively short period for a house that size, brokers said.

Jannard, 50, with an estimated net worth of $850 million, was recently ranked 296th on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 richest people in America. His 60% stake in Oakley was worth $261.2 million, based on Monday's closing stock price of $6.19.

News of the purchase comes less than a week after Jannard announced that he is taking over the chief executive duties at Oakley, replacing former Gatorade executive William Schmidt, who resigned.

Oakley hired Schmidt, a marketing guru, in May of this year to take the company "to the next level" by building its global sales to $1 billion. Oakley's 1998 sales totaled $232 million. Company officials declined to say why Schmidt resigned.

The company has struggled over the past year to boost both its sales and flagging stock price by expanding into athletic shoes and wristwatches. The line of shoes has been a disappointment, analysts said.

Jannard, who founded Oakley in 1975, has never held the chief executive title. Schmidt was the fourth chief executive at Oakley in the past four years.

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