Hong Kong-based clothing brand Esprit has seen its share price soar after announcing the appointment of Jose Manuel Martínez Gutiérrez as CEO and executive director.
Esprit Holdings Limited said Tuesday it has named Inditex veteran Jose Manuel Martinez Gutiérrez as its new chief executive and executive director. Martínez will join the retailer, which is in the midst of a turnaround programme, by the end of September, replacing Ronald van der Vis, who left the company for personal and family reasons.
Martínez has held various senior roles at Spanish retail group Inditex, owner of the Zara fast fashion chain, most recently as group director of distribution and operations. Esprit said he was responsible for executing the commercial distribution model and strategy that was a key factor in delivering consistent positive growth for the retailer over several consecutive seasons.
He was also previously Zara’s country manager across Scandinavia and spent eight years at McKinsey, where he led the firm’s retail and consumer goods practice in Spain.
In September last year, Esprit embarked on a broad transformation plan which saw it exit North America, exit its retail businesses in Spain, Denmark and Sweden as well as closing down under-performing stores worldwide. As part of the plans, it is working to develop new branding and sourcing strategies, while growing its presence in China.
The appointment comes just a couple months after Van Der Vis and Esprit’s then-chairman Hans-Joachim Körber both resigned unexpectedly back in June. Van Der Vis said he was leaving his post for personal reasons and his and Körber’s resignations were coincidental. Van Der Vis said the company’s restructuring plan was on track and making progress. Esprit shares were sent into a steep downward spiral and prompting questions about the underperforming retailer’s future.
The company’s share price rose 27.98% today to HK$12.76 per share.