Women's wear retailer Bebe Stores has appointed an interim CEO after chief executive Steve Birkhold announced his decision to step down.

Birkhold's resignation is effective today (13 June) and Jim Wiggett, currently CEO of consultancy firm Jackson Hole Group, will step in interim CEO. He has held a number of executive positions, most recently as executive VP at Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

The company said it will now commence a search for a permanent CEO.

"Jim is a highly accomplished executive, with proven leadership capabilities, retail and merchandising expertise and a wealth of strategic business knowledge," said chairman Manny Mashouf.

Struggling retailer Bebe Stores last month revealed a third-quarter net loss of US$24.3m. Winter storms and a challenging retail environment have continued to weigh on the retailer's results, with net sales in the quarter falling 17.2%.