Speciality retailer The Wet Seal Inc has named Joel Waller as its new chief executive officer, taking up the new post from 1 February 2005.

Waller, who is currently chairman of Wilsons Leather, takes the place of Joseph Deckop, who has been interim chief executive officer of The Wet Seal since November of this year.

Chairman Henry Winterstern said: "Joel brings a great deal of experience in the retail industry and has recently successfully achieved a restructuring at Wilsons Leather."

He added that Waller had the right combination of retail knowledge and management skills to help the company restructure and return to profitability.

California-based The Wet Seal Inc is a specialty retailer of fashionable and contemporary apparel and accessory items, currently operating 559 stores  throughout the USA, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.