Australian surfwear brand Billabong has named Launa Inman as its new managing director and CEO, replacing Derek O'Neil who left the company yesterday (8 May).

Inman, who was appointed as a retail advisor for the company in February, aims to continue to drive Billabong's turnaround strategy. "The first priorities of the turnaround strategy will be to extract greater value from our retail network and strengthening supply chain management," she said.

Billabong chairman Ted Kunkel added: "Launa has proven leadership capabilities in managing and delivering results in challenging environments and uncertain times." The board decided the company required new leadership and skill sets for the next stage of its development, he said.

Prior to joining the company, Inman served as managing director of Target Australia for seven years. 

Inman is also a non-executive director of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, a member of the World Retail Congress Advisory Board, a board member of Melbourne Fashion Week and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

O'Neil has served as CEO since 2003. He was previously general manager of Billabong's European operations.

The board also said that Paul Naudé, currently head of North American operations, will be appointed to the expanded role of president of the Americas. He will assume responsibility for the fast-growing South American market as well as the US and Canada.

Earlier this year Billabong rejected two takeover bids from private equity firm TPG Capital valusing it at up to AUD841.8m (US$903.7m), but said it would be "prepared to engage with [any party] that makes a proposal which is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders."