Upscale sportswear designer Cutter & Buck has begun the search for a new chief executive following a decision by current CEO Fran Conley to transition out of the role.

Conley, who is also chairman of the Seattle-based company, took up the position two years ago as part of a turnaround strategy.

"When the board asked me to lead Cutter & Buck some two years ago, I was immediately faced with leading a turnaround," she said.

"(With) the resolution of most of the fallout from the 2002 restatement, I have accomplished more than what I set out to do."

Conley said she was working with Cutter & Buck's board of directors to find a replacement and would remain as chairman of the company.