California surf, snow and lifestyle brand O’Neill has appointed Willem Haitink as new CEO, becoming effective on September 1, 2011. Willem Haitink succeeds former O’Neill CEO Jan Valdmaa, who led the brand to growth over the past two years. Before, Andreas Adenauer had headed the brand, leaving O’Neill only a few months after he started.

48-year-old Haitink has been working for Nike where he successfully built up and ran international businesses in the USA, Canada, Mexico and China during the past 16 years. Most previously, the Dutch national has been General Manager of Converse Europe, Middle East and Africa. “I am thrilled to be working for a brand with such a rich history,” said Willem Haitink. “I look forward to spearheading the growth of O’Neill globally and bringing the brand closer to consumers around the world in a manner which fits the authenticity of the brand,” he said.

Ronald de Waal of WE international said: “Willem is well respected in the industry and we are confident that he will fit in with O’Neill very quickly. With his quality and experience he is the right fit to propel O’Neill growth on a global scale, where we aim to become the preferred international brand in our industry over the coming years.”