American Apparel Inc's CFO Ken Cieply has quit his post - a short time after public criticism from the company's boss appeared in national press.

The resignation comes weeks after he was labelled a "complete loser" by his CEO in a newspaper interview published in the US.

CEO Dov Charney's unflattering description of Cieply came in a March interview with The Wall Street Journal, but he later withdrew his comments through the company's lawyers.

However, he also hinted to the newspaper that the company might look to recruit financial executives with more retail experience.

The clothing company made no reference to the controversy, simply saying that Cieply had left "to pursue other opportunities".

He had agreed to make himself available to help the company on a temporary basis, American Apparel added.

The company has named William Gochnauer as interim CFO while it looks for a permanent replacement.

Gochnauer had previously been interim CFO at catalogue and online gift retailer Red Envelope, and has more than 35 years' experience.

"Bill's extensive experience with SEC reporting and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance will be an enormous help," said Charney.

"With him onboard, we will be able to more quickly build out our accounting staff to support the company's increased reporting responsibilities and the future growth of our business."

Charney wished Cieply well, saying that he had "played an important role in getting American Apparel to where it is today".

American Apparel has retained recruitment firm Berglass + Associates to help find a permanent CFO, and expects to name Cieply's successor in the next three to six months.