Rip Curl Group has announced that the company founders had left their executive positions and the head of its Australian unit, David Lawn, had been promoted to CEO of the entire group.

The company said Brian Singer and Doug “Claw” Warbrick will remain as controlling shareholders and act as consultants and industry representatives to Rip Curl until at least 2008.

James Olsson will become CEO of Rip Curl USA from April. Group chairman James Strong said the changes will take the firm “into its next phase of development”, although he did not elaborate on that comment.