Australian surfwear brand Billabong has appointed industry executive Susan Branch to the newly-created role of global general manager for Billabong women's.

Branch, who has more than 20 years of experience managing global apparel and footwear businesses, will take up her new position this month.

"Consistent with the strategic direction laid out at our recent annual general meeting, we're focusing on our big brands," said Billabong CEO Neil Fiske.

"We see tremendous growth opportunity for Billabong women's, which is why we've specifically created this role to give it a dedicated focus."

Branch has held various senior positions in the action sports industry, having most recently served as senior vice president and global head of product for Roxy/Quiksilver.

She will report to a global president for the Billabong brand - a newly-created role - who has not yet been named. In addition, Ed Leasure and Jean-Louis Rodrigues have been named heads of the America's and Europe respectively.

Billabong, which is in the midst of a turnaround, has been mired in uncertainty and under-performance for more than a year, posting full-year losses of AUD859.8m (US$784m) last August and cutting the value of its surfwear brand to zero.