Esprit CFO steps down to avoid Europe relocation

The move to transfer most of its operation base to Europe has cost embattled fashion retailer Esprit a key executive. 

The company has filed a stock-exchange statement confirming the departure of Thomas Tang as executive director and group CFO effective October 21. Both roles have been taken over by Dr Johannes Georg Schmidt-Schultes.

As part of a massive restructuring aimed at restoring sales and profits, a various key functions of the Hong Kong-listed company have been relocated to Europe under a Strategy Plan.

“The Strategy Plan has now moved into a phase that requires the group CFO to be based in the group’s core operations in Europe to timely implement and supervise the plan,” said company secretary Hung Lee Lee. 

“Mr Tang has decided to resign as he is unable to station in Europe for the new role. The board very much regrets losing Mr Tang given his valuable contribution to the group, but respects [his] personal circumstances and his subsequent decision to pursue his career outside the company.”

Incoming CFO Schmidt-Schultes, 53, was educated in Germany and has been described by Esprit as “an internationally experienced, fully-rounded finance executive”. His most recent role was as CFO at BMI Group Holdings UK and he previously worked at Apleona Group, Austrian-listed Semperit and Australia’s Telstra Corporation.

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