Kering Restructures Its Top Luxury Management

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(NEW YORK) Luxury conglomerate Kering announced it is restructuring its top management with a trio of executive shuffles and hirings. Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Bottega Veneta, has been appointed as the CEO of Kering’s new luxury couture and leather goods division. Bizzarri had been in his role at Bottega Veneta since 2009 and previously served as president and CEO of Stella McCartney for four years, starting in 2005 when he first joined Kering. Bottega Veneta’s first-quarter sales for 2014 are up 14.6 percent with sales of approximately $343.6 million at current exchange. “I’m extremely proud of Bottega Veneta’s results,” said Bizzarri in a press statement. “I feel very honored by François-Henri Pinault’s decision to appoint me as CEO of the new Kering division ‘Luxury-Couture & Leather Goods’, while remaining in my role as president of Bottega Veneta, as a sign of strong continuity with the past.” While Bizzarri will remain in his role as president at the Italian luxury label, a new CEO will be announced shortly. The CEOs of Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney, Tomas Maier, and Sergio Rossi will all report to Bizzarri. He will begin his new post in July, and he will be based in Cadempino, Switzerland.

Albert Bensoussan, who was previously a director at Louis Vuitton for seven years and has had his own consulting company AB Consultants for the last four years, has been hired as CEO of Kering’s luxury watches and jewelry division. While at Louis Vuitton, Bensoussan was responsible for the launch and management of their watch and high jewelry business unit. Prior to that, Bensoussan served as the sales and marketing director at LVMH in their watch and jewelry division. He has also held roles at Cartier and Givenchy. He will begin his new post at Kering on May 2nd, with the CEOs of Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Pomellato, Dodo, and Qeelin reporting to him.

Kering’s biggest brand, Gucci, will operate separately and be helmed by Patrizio di Marco, who has been the chairman and CEO of Gucci since 2009. Di Marco, who is also in a relationship with Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini with whom he has a daughter, has previously held roles at major luxury houses like Prada, Céline, Louis Vuitton, and Bottega Veneta. Di Marco served as CEO at Bottega Veneta before taking on his role at Gucci, where he was responsible for turning around the brand with the appointment of its current creative director, Tomas Maier.

Di Marco, Bizzarri, and Bensoussan will all report directly to Kering’s chairman and CEO, François Henri-Pinault, and all three will serve on the company’s executive committee. The new developments will see Kering’s managing director of their luxury division, Alexis Babeau, depart the company after helming that role since March 2011. Babeau held many roles at Kering, but initially joined in 2001 as the CFO of credit and financial services company Finaref. Meanwhile, Jean-François Palus will remain the managing director of Kering’s burgeoning sport and lifestyle division, with Puma as the marquee brand. Pinault will remain chairman of Saint Laurent, where revenues have increased to $216.5 million as creative director Hedi Slimane continues to lend his mercurial touch.

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