Orange County Business Journal

Billabong Names Chairman Elect

Kari Hamanaka Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An Australian retail industry veteran has been named chairman elect of the Billabong International Ltd. board.

Ian Pollard’s appointment as director and chairman elect follows an announcement made earlier this year that Chair Ted Kunkel and board member Allan McDonald would retire.

Australia-based action sports apparel maker and retailer Billabong International is the parent of Irvine-based Billabong USA, where the company’s Americas President Paul Naude is based.

Pollard is the former chair of Just Group Ltd., an Australian operator of seven retail chains, including Just Jeans and Dotti.

Pollard will join the board following the company’s Oct. 24 annual meeting for shareholders.

Kunkel is expected to stay on with Billabong as chair until the company makes a decision on the $713.7 million purchase offer by Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG Capital LP.

A competing offer, reportedly made by Boston private equity firm Bain Capital LLC, for the same amount was withdrawn only a few weeks after the bid was submitted.

Billabong is in the midst of a four-year plan that was launched in August in hopes of improving the business. The plan calls for more store closures and growth of several other brands in its portfolio, including Element in Irvine and Costa Mesa-based RVCA Clothing.