PARIS — José Luis Duran has exited Lacoste as chief executive officer “to pursue other professional endeavors,” according to the sportswear firm’s parent.

Duran is to be replaced by former Conforama chief Thierry Guibert, starting Jan. 19.

“I am sincerely grateful to Jose-Luis Duran for his hard work and his personal commitment to the development of our brands over these past five years,” said Didier Maus, chairman of the Maus Frères group, which took control of Lacoste in 2012, adding: “Lacoste is turning a new page in its history, and I am pleased to welcome Thierry Guibert, who brings us all his experience and his success at the head of an international group.”

Guibert is no stranger to retail. He served in various positions at Kering, when it was still called PPR, “where he guided the company’s transition, repositioning it from retail to the luxury market,” the company noted.

In 2008, he became chairman and ceo of Conforama, where he is credited with significantly increasing the furniture company’s market share.

The sudden rupture at Lacoste comes at a time of strong development for the brand, which is making a stronger push towards fashion. “Brand positioning is really my number-one priority, and the idea is to make Lacoste more premium,” Duran told WWD in December.

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