Gucci Seeks Revival as CEO Di Marco, Creative Head Depart

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Kering SA's Marco Bizzarri
Marco Bizzarri, head of the parent company’s luxury-couture and leather goods division, will take over running Gucci on Jan. 1, Kering said today in a statement. Photographer: Stephan Gladieu/Kering SA via Bloomberg

Gucci’s top two executives will step down from the luxury label as owner Kering SA seeks to revive growth at its faltering flagship luxury brand.

Gucci Chief Executive Officer Patrizio di Marco will be succeeded by Marco Bizzarri, while Creative Director Frida Giannini will leave after showing the fall-winter collection in February, the Paris-based company said today.

The shakeup is the brand’s biggest since the 2004 departure of duo Domenico de Sole and Tom Ford, who were widely credited with reviving the storied brand from a loss-making family company to a global fashion house. More recently, Gucci has struggled as customers switch to labels they perceive to be more exclusive, with sales falling in the most recent quarter.

Gucci “will benefit from new ideas and fresh energy,” said Luca Solca, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas in London. “The key to stay relevant in luxury goods is continuing reinvention.”

Kering’s shares fell 1.2 percent in Paris trading, paring the gains this year to 2.2 percent and giving the company a market value of about 20 billion euros ($24.8 billion).

Bizzarri, who heads Kering’s luxury-couture and leather-goods division, will replace Di Marco on Jan. 1, the Paris-based company said today in a statement. A successor to Giannini will be named later.

Di Marco joined Gucci in 2009 from Kering’s Bottega Veneta brand. He sought to move Gucci up-market by reducing the use of the label’s famous double G logo and re-introducing classic styles in luxurious materials. Giannini had led Gucci’s creative team since 2006.

Team Builder

Bizzarri joined Kering in 2005 as CEO of Stella McCartney. He replaced Di Marco at Bottega Veneta in 2009 and was named head of Kering’s couture and leather goods division in April.

“Bizzarri is a proven team builder and a very good manager,” Solca said. “He could take over the great work Patrizio had done at BV, and bring the brand to new heights. I expect he is setting himself up to do the same at Gucci.”

Kering has been overhauling management of its luxury brands. In October, the Paris-based company named new CEOs at Bottega Veneta, Brioni and Christopher Kane. Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault will oversee the company’s luxury couture and leather-goods division until a replacement is named.

Of Bizzarri, Pinault said: “I am fully confident that he will now build on Gucci’s extraordinary legacy to have the 93-year-old house enter a new momentum and continue to write bright chapters of its exceptional history.”

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