NEW YORK--David Folkman has resigned as president and chief executive officer of Esprit de Corp. Folkman joined San Francisco-based Esprit in March 1993 from Regent Pacific Management Corp. where he was a principal, consulting on company turnarounds in the retail and wholesale consumer products industry. Through his specialty at Regent Pacific, Folkman met Esprit founder and owner Susie Tompkins, who brought him on board to strengthen the company. "David joined us two years ago at a very difficult time. He has provided the guidance and stability that enabled Esprit to stop the downward slide of its business. The company is in a stronger position today as it enters this new fiscal year," said Tompkins in a statement. When Folkman joined the company as ceo, he became the third executive in two years to hold the post. Esprit has formed an executive committee comprising Tompkins and Michael Ying, the two principal shareholders of Esprit U.S., and Donald La Vigne, a board member, to supervise company operations until Folkman's successor is named. Reached Wednesday, Folkman said that in his view "the company is on a solid, healthy track with a good management team. The basic fundamentals are in place." As for his leaving Esprit, he said it was an amicable parting coinciding with the end of the firm's fiscal year, and he had discussed it in advance with Tompkins. In the interim, the three most senior executives at Esprit, Peter Hanelt, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, Andrew Cohen, president of Esprit Wholesale, and Lisa Engler, president of retail and marketing, will report directly to the executive committee. Folkman said he has not finalized his plans at this time. "I'll be looking for situations that need redirection and turnaround. I've done that several times before, and I'll probably stay in the wholesale or retail consumer products field." Folkman's previous posts include general partner in U.S. Venture Partners, a venture capital firm for new retail operations; ceo of Emporium stores, a division of Carter Hawley Hale, now known as Broadway Stores; senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Macy's West, and vice president of stores for Famous-Barr Co.
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