BERLIN – Melody Harris-Jensbach has resigned as chief product officer and board member of Esprit, effective Oct. 31. A successor has not yet been named, and Esprit said Harris-Jensbach will continue to consult on key projects in the coming year.
Harris-Jensbach rejoined the Ratingen, Germany based and Hong Kong listed sportswear brand in January 2012, where she was responsible for the creative direction and product development of the Esprit collections. She was a member of the Esprit team from 1998 to 2007, before joining the German sportswear brand Puma as a board member involved in product development, design, business unit management as well as procurement for the brand’s retail business through to 2011.
Harris-Jensbach is the latest manager to decamp from the troubled sportswear brand which is undergoing restructuring efforts to turn around its business. In October, Esprit senior vice-president of global store development and expansion Kjell Berggren, chief operating officer of global retail Lex Gemas and Dominik Poley, country manager for new markets, all left Esprit.
Esprit posted widened losses amid declining sales for the fiscal year ended June 30. Comprehensive net losses reached 3.78 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $487.29 million, compared with a year earlier loss of 366 million Hong Kong dollars, or $47.18 million. The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar.
On an operating level, Esprit posted a loss of 4.17 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $537.57 million, compared with a year earlier profit of 1.17 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $150.83 million. Sales declined 14.1 percent to 25.90 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $3.34 billion, on a “weak” performance at retail and a strategic move to divest the brand’s North American operations.