Kellwood has promoted Jesse Zee to chairman and Gerald Rhoads to managing director of its Smart Shirts subsidiary in Hong Kong, effective 1 April.

Concurrently, Michael Gilson has been appointed senior vice president of finance at Smart.

As managing director of the unit, Rhoads succeeds Zee. Smart Shirts now will report to W Lee Capps III, chief operating and financial officer of Kellwood. It had previously reported directly to Robert Skinner, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the St Louis, Missouri-based apparel company.

Zee has been with Smart Shirts since 1995, most recently as managing director, and previously spent 10 years as managing director of Esquel Enterprises.

Rhoads has been with Kellwood for more than 30 years and served in various finance, administration and operations roles before joining Smart in 1995 as vice president of finance and administration. His most recent post was deputy managing director.

Gilson joined Kellwood last July as director of special projects after serving as senior VP and CFO of the May Department Stores International division of May Department Stores, which was acquired by Federated Department Stores.

"The senior management team at Smart Shirts has led us to excellent levels of sales and earnings, and has further enhanced the division's premier reputation in the marketplace," said Skinner in a statement. "These changes recognise Jesse's and Gerry's outstanding leadership over the past 12 years and allow us to transition successfully to the next generation of management."