Designer Oliveira Baptista exits sports label Lacoste

Portuguese fashion designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista for Lacoste at the end of the Lacoste's 2018/2019 fall/winter collection fashion show in Paris

Lacoste has parted company with its longtime designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista, the French sportswear brand said Wednesday.

The Portuguese creator doubled the brand's turnover in his eight years in charge to more than 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) a year.

But the crocodile brand's new boss Thierry Guibert reportedly wants to give the label a renewed sports focus, with heavy promotion around tennis star Novak Djokovic.

"A new stage will now open and I am extremely confident in the future successes of our brand, emblematic of French know-how and elegance," Guibert said in a statement.

Oliveira Baptista, 43, is credited with helping to revive the historic brand with his predecessor Christophe Lemaire, who tripled sales during his decade in charge.