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Esprit Taps Former Puma Exec to Oversee Design

The firm is in the process of revamping its image and restructuring the company.

TOKYO — Esprit Holdings Limited said today it has tapped former Puma executive Melody Harris-Jensbach for the newly created role of chief product and design officer, effective immediately.

Esprit is in the process of revamping its image as part of a drastic restructuring plan aimed at getting the retailer back on track. In September, it announced plans to pull out of the North American market as well as a few other European ones to focus on core markets such as China, Germany and Benelux.

Harris-Jensbach, a Parsons School of Design graduate, has worked for several German labels including Bernd Berger and Escada Group’s Laurel brand. Between 1998 and 2007, she held various senior management roles at Esprit. Most recently, she was deputy chief executive officer and chief product officer at Puma AG since January 2008.

Esprit said Harris-Jensbach reports to group chief executive officer Ronald Van der Vis, and is part of the group’s board of management. She will oversee all of Esprit’s in-house product creation as well the brand’s license business.