It's a big leap from hawking popsicles to managing the brand image of a global luxury icon. Robert Polet, president of the ice cream and frozen foods division of Unilever, was named Gucci Group's CEO on Apr. 21. Former CEO Domenico de Sole and creative director Tom Ford, who restored Gucci's glitz after near bankruptcy in the 1990s, departed when majority shareholder Pinault-Printemps- Redoute sought to limit their autonomy. Polet, a Dutchman with a 26-year career at Unilever and no experience in the luxury-goods sector, now must manage top creative talent at Gucci while completing a turnaround at tony Yves Saint Laurent and nurturing Gucci's recent sales rebound.
Edited by Rose Brady