BERLIN — Escada’s chief executive officer Bruno Sälzer is leaving the German fashion house when his contract expires at the end of the year.

 

The company said a search for his successor is under way.

 

At the helm of Escada since July 2008, Sälzer said the restructuring of the company has now been completed following its insolvency filing in 2009 and the Mittal family’s acquisition later that year.

 

“I would like to pursue new professional challenges,” he told WWD. “It’s now or never.”

 

Sälzer declined all comment on a report in La Repubblica on Wednesday suggesting he was headed for the ceo post at Benetton. However, he stressed that the timing of these rumors and the planned announcement of his departure from Escada “had absolutely nothing to do with each other. It was pure coincidence.”

 

During Sälzer’s six-year tenure at Escada, the product line was expanded through new licensing agreements for watches, jewelry and home textiles; 90 retail stores were outfitted with the brand’s new shop design; Escada’s presence in Asia was stepped up; and an E-store was launched.

 

Prior to Escada, Sälzer spent 14 years at Hugo Boss, where he assumed the position of CEO in 2002.

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