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Billabong appoints Nordstrom exec as CFO

BillabongSurfwear brand, Billabong, has appointed ex-Nordstrom executive Jim Howell as its chief financial officer, replacing Peter Myers who has served in the role since January 2013.

Howell has led the finance and treasury division at Nordstrom, one of the largest department store retailers in the United States, for the last 10 years. He will be based in California when he commences his role on June 12 at the surfwear brand that posted a net loss after tax of $16.1 million with total group sales markedly down on the prior corresponding period in its recent half-year trading update.

Billabong said Howell oversaw significant cost management improvements, capital management and growth initiatives at Nordstrom and played a key role in the implementation of its omnichannel retailing strategy.

“Mr Howell, whose appointment comes after an extensive global search, has deep experience in retail, finance and operational management which is strongly aligned with Billabong’s business strategy,” said Neil Fiske, chief executive officer, Billabong.

Fiske stated Myers and the company have been planning for the incumbent CFO’s departure for some time, following a period of restructuring and focus on improving the operational performance of the business.

“We believe the time is right to make a change to ensure that this next phase of Billabong’s transformation enjoys increasing operational oversight from the Group CFO,” he said.

“Jim’s experience aligns particularly well with our areas of focus. Our goal is to deliver long term sustainable growth in a highly competitive retail environment and Jim will both work alongside me on this while also providing me with an increased opportunity to connect with our global customers and stakeholders.”

Billabong has also recently sold off the Tigerlily brand from its portfolio, as part of trimming the business and paying down debt.

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