BRISBANE, Calif.—Bebe Stores' founder and Chairman Manny Mashouf is stepping down as CEO and will become non-executive chairman.

Veteran apparel industry executive Steve Birkhold succeeds Mashouf in the CEO post, the women's clothing company said Thursday. Birkhold recently served as president and CEO of Lacoste North America. He has also served as CEO of another fashion company, Diesel USA.

Bebe Stores Inc. had been searching for a CEO successor since October.

The Brisbane, Calif., company currently runs 250 stores in the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Canada and Japan.

Its shares closed at $4 per share on Wednesday. They have rebounded from a 52-week low of $3.48 in mid-November, and traded as high as $9.58 last March.