Neil Fiske

Billabong, the surfwear brand that lost 99 percent of its market value after taking on debt to build a store network, plans to start opening new outlets again as it tries to reignite profits. Billabong is ready to open new stores "right now," CEO Neil Fiske said. The company based in Gold Coast, Australia, closed or sold about 34 percent of its locations over the past three years as it slashed debt by A$394 million ($333 million). "Stores are key to a brand's health over time," Fiske said in an interview in Sydney.

Turnaround CEO Neil Fiske, who took over Bellevue-based Eddie Bauer in 2007 and led it through a bankruptcy court auction in 2009, will soon leave the top post, according to a company statement. No reason was given for his departure.

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