Esprit Rises Most in Three Months After Naming New Design Chief From Puma

 Published: 1/10/2012 2:29:00 AM GMT
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Esprit Holdings Ltd. (330), the Hong Kong clothing retailer, rose the most in three months after naming a former Puma AG executive to run its product development and design operations.

The apparel retailer climbed as much as 11 percent, its biggest intraday gain since Oct. 13, to HK$11.56, before trading at HK$11.38 at 10.05 a.m. local time. The stock is up 13 percent for the year, compared with a 3 percent gain for the Hang Seng Index.

Melody Harris-Jensbach will take the role of chief product and design officer at Esprit starting Jan. 9, the company said in a statement yesterday. Her hiring follows that of Holly Li, Adidas’s general manager for north China, as Esprit’s China chief executive officer, amid a push to revive earnings at the retailer that in September said its brand had “lost its soul.”

“The appointment is certainly positive in the long run, yet the effects are not likely to be seen until the next fiscal year,” said Vineet Sharma, analyst at Barclays Capital Inc. in a phone interview today.

Harris-Jensbach is joining Esprit from Puma AG where she acted as deputy CEO and chief product officer since January 2008, the company said. From 1998 until 2007, Harris-Jensbach held senior management positions within Esprit, according to the statement.

Li is scheduled to take over as China CEO on Feb. 1, Esprit said in a statement in November.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at [email protected]

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