The chief executive of leading Australian surf wear label Billabong International Ltd, Matthew Perrin, quit on Thursday night citing personal reasons.

Mr Perrin’s resignation follows days of intense speculation ahead of last Friday’s AGM that he was preparing to quit the firm, famous for its colourful surf shorts and tops, after selling a bundle of shares worth A$66 million in late August.

Billabong said today chairman Gary Pemberton will assume the role of executive chairman while it scouts for a replacement. Mr Perrin will continue as managing director until a new CEO is found.

"My decision to resign is due to personal reasons," Mr Perrin said. "I am willing to assist Gary Pemberton and the senior management during the transition to the new chief executive."