Supply chain and operations specialist Jeff Streader has been named global chief operating officer (COO) of action sports and surfwear brand Billabong.

Reporting directly to CEO Neil Fiske, Streader has more than 30 years' experience working with multi-channel, complex operations for some of the industry's leading consumer brands and retailers.

"Jeff's deep experience in global supply chain and operations will help us build the global platforms we need to improve our speed to market, inventory turn, and product margins," Neil stated.

"We have identified supply chain as a major opportunity for profit improvement and one of the seven strategic planks in our turnaround programme. Having someone of Jeff's calibre on our team will dramatically accelerate our progress.

"Jeff will also have oversight for upgrading our information technology and ecommerce platforms."

Streader's background includes leadership roles at Guess, Kellwood, VF Corporation, Fasturn, and Oxford Industries. Most recently, he was an operating partner at global investment firm Marlin Equity, where his responsibilities included operational oversight of Neff, one of Marlin's portfolio companies.

Previous roles have included senior vice president of the supply chain at Guess Inc, president of Kellwood Company's corporate supply chain, and vice president of global sourcing at VF Corporation.

"With Billabong's global footprint, I believe there is a great opportunity to create scale and capability across the company, benefiting both our cost structure and growth profile. I have high expectations for our success," Streader says.

Loss-making Billabong is in the midst of a multi-year turnaround plan under Fiske, the ex-Eddie Bauer boss hired in September when the company accepted a long-term funding package from private equity firms Centerbridge and Oaktree.