Kering overhauls its corporate governance

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In addition to the departure of Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s CEO, who has been temporarily replaced by Jean-François Palus, CEO François-Henri Pinault’s right-hand man, the luxury group has announced other major changes at the top. It is promoting Francesca Bellettini, CEO of Saint Laurent since 2013, and Jean-François Duplaix, CFO, to deputy CEO. Maureen Chiquet, the former CEO of Chanel, has joined the Board of Directors. The aim is to breathe new life into the group at a time when its flagship brand, Gucci, is taking on water.

Change of era at Kering, and at Gucci in particular.

 

The group today announced “a series of changes within its general management aimed at strengthening the management of its Houses, further increasing its business expertise and consolidating its organisation”.

 

The first change, the departure of Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, comes as no surprise. We’d been expecting it ever since the Florentine fashion house re-landed after years of stratospheric growth and the departure of its artistic director, Alessandro Michele. The architect of the brand’s flamboyant years since 2015, he left last November, handing over to Sabato De Sarno.

 

Departure of Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri

 

Logically, it is now also the turn of its CEO, Marco Bizzarri, to leave the beautiful Italian House on 23 September.

 

“A central figure in Kering’s management team for the past 18 years, Marco Bizzarri has orchestrated the execution of Gucci’s exceptional growth strategy since 2015, after achieving success in other parts of the group,” Kering said in a statement. The former Mandarina Duck and Marithé + François Girbaud joined Kering in 2005, first as CEO of Stella McCartney, then of Bottega Veneta, from 2009 to 2014.

 

He had already made a splash at Bottega Veneta, which had sales of over €1 billion by the time he left, before taking over at the other leather goods maker and driving force behind Kering. Gucci accounts for more than half (€10 billion) of the luxury group’s sales and two-thirds of its profits.

 

Reawakening Gucci

 

But while the Florentine House enjoyed years of unbridled growth thanks to the Michele-Bizzari duo, the flame has been out since Covid. François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, noted that sales had risen too modestly (+1%) in the first quarter of 2023, and expressed his desire to get Gucci “back on track”.

 

While waiting to find the future magician capable of reviving Gucci, Jean-François Palus, Kering’s current deputy CEO (and a former classmate of François-Henri Pinault’s at Hec) is replacing Marco Bizzarri, “for a transitional period”.

 

His mission will be to “strengthen Gucci’s teams and operations, and prepare its management teams and organisation for the future”. A task that logically leads him to submit his “resignation as a director of Kering” and move to Milan, where Gucci is headquartered.

 

“For several decades, Jean-François has been my right-hand man and my team-mate on a daily basis; he will now devote all his energy to strengthening our main asset, for which I am immensely grateful,” commented François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s CEO.

 

Francesca Bellettini and Jean-Marc Duplaix promoted to deputy directors

 

The second major change at the head of the Group was less obvious than Marco Bizzari’s departure.

 

He has promoted two of the Group’s top performers – Francesca Bellettini and Jean-Marc Duplaix – by appointing them deputy group directors.

 

Hailed as a “first-rate collaborator” by François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Saint Laurent since 2013, Francesca Bellettini has increased the company’s sales sixfold (now worth nearly €3 billion).

 

She will now be “responsible for guiding all the Group’s Houses through the next stages of their development”. All the CEOs will report to her. The graduate of Milan’s famous Bocconi University will be able to share her invaluable expertise in luxury goods and her in-depth knowledge of the group: after starting out in finance at Goldman Sachs, she joined Prada in 1999 before moving to Kering in 2003, first at Gucci, then at Bottega Veneta, before being appointed to Saint Laurent.

 

Maureen Chiquet joins the Board of Directors

 

Another luxury champion should also help Kering to find new momentum. The American Maureen Chiquet has been co-opted as an independent director, with effect from September 2023. She will complete Daniela Riccardi’s term of office, which expires at the end of 2025.

 

Maureen Chiquet is best known for having headed Chanel from 2007 to 2016, and for having significantly developed its international presence. This Yale graduate (in literature!) began her career in marketing at L’Oréal, before moving into fashion via The Gap, where she launched the Old Navy brand and chaired Banana Republic. Since last February, she has chaired the DoubleJ brand, founded by J.J. Martin and Andrea Ciccoli.

 

Sensitive to the subject of female leadership, she has devoted a personal book to the subject, “Beyond The Label: Women, Leadership and Success on Our Own Terms”…

And that’s just as well, because at Kering, the future also lies with women.

 

Sophie Michentef

Read also > The Old Continent: the top summer destination for non-Europeans – Luxus Plus (luxus-plus.com)

 

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In addition to the departure of Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s CEO, who has been temporarily replaced by Jean-François Palus, CEO François-Henri Pinault’s right-hand man, the luxury group has announced other major changes at the top. It is promoting Francesca Bellettini, CEO of Saint Laurent since 2013, and Jean-François Duplaix, CFO, to deputy CEO. Maureen Chiquet, the former CEO of Chanel, has joined the Board of Directors. The aim is to breathe new life into the group at a time when its flagship brand, Gucci, is taking on water.

Change of era at Kering, and at Gucci in particular.

 

The group today announced “a series of changes within its general management aimed at strengthening the management of its Houses, further increasing its business expertise and consolidating its organisation”.

 

The first change, the departure of Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, comes as no surprise. We’d been expecting it ever since the Florentine fashion house re-landed after years of stratospheric growth and the departure of its artistic director, Alessandro Michele. The architect of the brand’s flamboyant years since 2015, he left last November, handing over to Sabato De Sarno.

 

Departure of Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri

 

Logically, it is now also the turn of its CEO, Marco Bizzarri, to leave the beautiful Italian House on 23 September.

 

“A central figure in Kering’s management team for the past 18 years, Marco Bizzarri has orchestrated the execution of Gucci’s exceptional growth strategy since 2015, after achieving success in other parts of the group,” Kering said in a statement. The former Mandarina Duck and Marithé + François Girbaud joined Kering in 2005, first as CEO of Stella McCartney, then of Bottega Veneta, from 2009 to 2014.

 

He had already made a splash at Bottega Veneta, which had sales of over €1 billion by the time he left, before taking over at the other leather goods maker and driving force behind Kering. Gucci accounts for more than half (€10 billion) of the luxury group’s sales and two-thirds of its profits.

 

 

 

 

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In addition to the departure of Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s CEO, who has been temporarily replaced by Jean-François Palus, CEO François-Henri Pinault’s right-hand man, the luxury group has announced other major changes at the top. It is promoting Francesca Bellettini, CEO of Saint Laurent since 2013, and Jean-François Duplaix, CFO, to deputy CEO. Maureen Chiquet, the former CEO of Chanel, has joined the Board of Directors. The aim is to breathe new life into the group at a time when its flagship brand, Gucci, is taking on water.

Change of era at Kering, and at Gucci in particular.

 

The group today announced “a series of changes within its general management aimed at strengthening the management of its Houses, further increasing its business expertise and consolidating its organisation”.

 

The first change, the departure of Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, comes as no surprise. We’d been expecting it ever since the Florentine fashion house re-landed after years of stratospheric growth and the departure of its artistic director, Alessandro Michele. The architect of the brand’s flamboyant years since 2015, he left last November, handing over to Sabato De Sarno.

 

Departure of Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri

 

Logically, it is now also the turn of its CEO, Marco Bizzarri, to leave the beautiful Italian House on 23 September.

 

“A central figure in Kering’s management team for the past 18 years, Marco Bizzarri has orchestrated the execution of Gucci’s exceptional growth strategy since 2015, after achieving success in other parts of the group,” Kering said in a statement. The former Mandarina Duck and Marithé + François Girbaud joined Kering in 2005, first as CEO of Stella McCartney, then of Bottega Veneta, from 2009 to 2014.

 

He had already made a splash at Bottega Veneta, which had sales of over €1 billion by the time he left, before taking over at the other leather goods maker and driving force behind Kering. Gucci accounts for more than half (€10 billion) of the luxury group’s sales and two-thirds of its profits.

 

 

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Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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