Billabong International Limited fired its CEO Derek O’Neill and named a former Target executive Launa Inman as managing director and CEO, noting that retail had become critical to the brand's future. Inman will start in the position May 14.

Inman’s skills and depth of experience in retail, supply chain, management, finance, strategic planning and brand marketing will be critical to Billabong’s future, said Billabong Chairman Ted Kunkel. He said the board had decided that the company required new leadership and skill sets for the next stage of development. O’Neill has worked for Billabong for more than 20 years.

“Launa has proven leadership capabilities in managing and delivering results in challenging environments and uncertain times,” Kunkel said. “Launa’s appointment recognizes the tremendous importance retail has assumed in our business.”

Inman has spent the past two months consulting with Billabong, following her retirement from Target Australia after seven years as managing director. Prior to Target she was managing director of Officeworks, the largest stationery and office technology retailer in Australia. She is also a member of the board of The Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

“We need to continue to drive our turnaround strategy, moving to a fully integrated operating model powered by the strength of our brands,” said Inman. “The first priorities of the turnaround strategy will be to extract greater value from our retail network and strengthening supply chain management. This will provide the opportunity for Billabong’s family of brands to meet their full potential.”

The board also announced Paul Naudé, currently head of North America will be appointed to the expanded role of president of the Americas, and will assume additional responsibility for the fast-growing South American market as well as the US and Canada. Naudé will continue to report to the CEO and will remain as an executive director of the board.