Fashion chain Esprit will get a new CEO: Jose Manuel Martínez will leave the company and pass on the baton to Anders Kristiansen. New Look’s former CEO has to bring growth to Esprit, particularly through ambitious plans for China.
“We regret losing Martínez”
Jose Manuel Martínez transferred from fashion group Inditex five years ago, to help guide Esprit out of financial difficulties and to help modernize the company. He largely succeeded, because Esprit is ready to enter a new phase, a press release mentions. “We regret losing Martínez”, Esprit’s new chairman, Raymond Or, said. “In the past five years, he turned around a seriously downward spiral of financial results. He stabilized the company structure, restructured the organization and improved the overall profitability.”
With this phase of recovery over, Esprit has reached a healthy financial position: the company had no more debt at the end of last year and even had a 4..575 billion Hong Kong dollar net cash flow (475 million euro). This enables the company to enter a new phase, focused on profitable growth in the next few years. That includes a “very ambitious plan for China”, in which former independent non-executive chairman Raymond Or Ching Fai will play a major role. Starting 1 April, he will become executive chairman as well.
The new CEO is well-known in the fashion industry and has plenty of experience in China. It is clear that Esprit, currently based in Hong Kong, will focus a lot on that market. “In his position as former New Look Retail Group CEO, Kristiansen has a sizeable “track record” in leading complex growth and expansion projects. The board has faith that he will lead Esprit in the next growth phase and looks forward to reaching that goal alongside him”, Or concludes.