Esprit has announced that its chief financial officer, Chew Fook Aun, has resigned from the company due to "personal reasons".

The fashion firm today (5 December) said Chew is stepping down as he is unable to travel extensively to Europe to carry out the troubled brand's transformation plan.

As part of efforts to turn around its business, Esprit has begun regrouping various strategic functions at its headquarters in Ratingen, Germany and in Europe. This would require the group chief financial officer to travel extensively to Europe to supervise proceedings, Esprit said. Chew is unable to spend the required time in Europe due to personal reasons, it added.

"The board regrets this, but respects Mr Chew's personal circumstances and his subsequent decision to pursue his career outside the company," a statement said.

Esprit in September announced plans to divest its North American operations as well as its retail businesses in Spain, Denmark and Sweden. The company is listed in Hong Kong, but its biggest market is Germany. As part of the plan, it is looking to develop its presence in Germany's neighbouring countries, Benelux and France.