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August 1997 Vol. 12, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Out of the Water

from the August, 1997 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In 1996, John Englander was appointed head of Ocean Futures, the environmental group sponsored by the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA). He had been a primary owner of UNEXSO, that bountiful Bahamas dive operation, and a past NAUI board member, and he was ready for a change.

As part of his new job, he organized an Ocean Futures banquet for the 1997 DEMA convention, where the guest of honor was to be Jacques Cousteau. During meetings between the two in Paris and the U.S., Cousteau became so impressed with Englander's work and commitment that he asked Englander to become the CEO of the Cousteau Society. The Society, which had been struggling financially for several years, posed a new challenge to Englander, one that he readily accepted.

When Jacques Cousteau died in June, Englander, who had been at the helm of the Cousteau Society for less than three months, found himself out of a job. In a letter to friends, he wrote, "The day after Captain Cousteau's death, the board of directors appointed Mme. Francine Cousteau to replace him as chairperson and president. Then, at a meeting in Paris the day after the funeral, she obtained the board's agreement to eliminate the position of CEO, as she is assuming all executive responsibilities. Although the board members were generous in their praise of my analysis and outline of a business plan, it was clear that it is time to move on."

Cousteau wed Francine Triplet -- 40 years his junior -- a year after the 1990 death of his wife Simone, the mother of Jean-Michel. Last year, Outside magazine reported that Cousteau had carried on a 15-year affair with Triplet and had two children with her in the early '80s. It also reported that Jean-Michel resigned from the Cousteau Society after the Captain transferred most of his power to Triplet.

Looks like John Englander is the latest victim.

Ben Davison

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