Esprit Holdings Limited has announced that Ronald van der Vis will join Esprit on 22 June as executive director, before taking up the role of chief executive.

He will be appointed as group CEO on or before 1 November 2009, the company said in a statement.

Current chairman and group CEO Heinz Krogner will simultaneously resign as CEO upon the appointment, but continue as executive chairman to ensure a smooth transition and intends to remain as there until December 2010.

Since 2004 Van der Vis has been the Group CEO of Pearle Europe, a retail group operating 2,600 stores (of which 600 are franchise stores) in 24 countries.

"Ronald is an excellent match for the Esprit family, both in terms of business background and personality. His appointment as Esprit's new Group CEO is particularly based on his successful international retail experience.

"Since over 50% of Esprit's sales is based on wholesales to independent stores, it is important that Esprit is headed by a CEO who understands the requirements of our retail partners. We are confident that Ronald will provide outstanding leadership for our company," said Krogner.

"I am delighted and honoured to join Esprit and to continue the excellent achievements so far under the leadership of Heinz Krogner. I am excited to further capitalise on Esprit's full international potential in the coming years," said Van der Vis.