The president and CEO of Gucci is stepping down later this year
LONDON — The president and CEO of Gucci is stepping down later this year, the latest shakeup to the luxury fashion brand and coming as part of a series of changes to its parent company, the French conglomerate Kering.
Marco Bizzarri will depart the Italian design house in September after eight years at the helm, with Kering saying Tuesday that he “masterminded the execution of Gucci’s outstanding growth strategy since 2015.” He was part of Kering’s leadership for 18 years.
Bizzarri will be replaced by Jean-François Palus, who is now Kering’s managing director. Palus will be “tasked with strengthening Gucci’s teams and operations” as the brand “rebuilds influence and momentum,” according to the company’s statement.
Historically, Gucci accounted for most of Kering’s profits, but it has been under some scrutiny after underperforming rivals.
Kering also said it was promoting Yves Saint Laurent President and CEO Francesca Bellettini as deputy CEO for brand development, managing all of its fashion houses, which also include Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Bottega Veneta.
Kering Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix will be another deputy CEO, handling operations and finance.
“We are building a more robust organization to fully capture the growth of the global luxury market,” billionaire Kering Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said in a statement.
He said Bellettini drove revenue at Saint Laurent six times higher, while Palus, who’s taking over at Gucci, “will now focus his energy on getting our largest asset in top shape.”
Pinault thanked the departing Bizzarri “for his spectacular contribution to the success of Gucci and of Kering.”
The changes open questions about the future of the larger fashion conglomerate and especially of Gucci, whose creative director of eight years, Alessandro Michele, left the brand last November, citing “different perspectives.” He redefined Gucci’s codes with romanticism and gender-fluidity.
It marks a clean start at Gucci: Bizzarri arrived when Michele was promoted in 2015 in a complete revamp of the fashion house and now is leaving eight months after the creative director.
Recent Gucci collections have been designed by an in-house team, but the fashion world is awaiting the brand’s first collection by new creative director Sabato De Sarno, formerly part of the team at Valentino, to be unveiled in September.