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What is changing within the Kering group?

How Pinault plans to boost his luxury empire

What is changing within the Kering group? How Pinault plans to boost his luxury empire

Yesterday afternoon Kering announced significant changes to its executive leadership team, all aimed at strengthening its position in the luxury market and laying the groundwork for a new period of growth. The reorganization involves key figures within the organization, including the appointment of Francesca Bellettini as Kering's Deputy CEO, the departure of Marco Bizzarri, and the co-option of Maureen Chiquet as an independent board member. Pinault's main imperative would seem to have been to set the conditions for his group to continue growing over the long term. Certainly mindful of the recent reversals that changed the fortunes of its brands in a very few months, the idea circulating is that Kering is rethinking its plans to develop on a more solid and secure basis.

Here are what the main changes are:

Francesca Bellettini and strategic expansion plans

Francesca Bellettini, who has successfully led Saint Laurent as president and CEO since 2013, will now assume the role of Deputy CEO of Kering, with a specific focus on brand development. This new responsibility will allow her to guide and direct all brand CEOs within the group, steering them toward the next stages of growth planned in the group's strategy. Bellettini's remarkable leadership at Saint Laurent, which is perhaps among the fastest-growing brands in the post-pandemic phase and has seen substantial revenue growth during her tenure, positions her as a valuable resource for Kering's entire portfolio of brands. The move shows the company's confidence in its ability to drive the strategic expansion of all the luxury brands under its control, and it must be assumed that we will soon see the effects of the new strategies very soon on both the more immediate marketing and production and collections levels.

What will happen to Gucci after Marco Bizzarri's farewell?

Marco Bizzarri, who has served as Gucci's president and CEO since 2015, will say goodbye to the company on September 23, 2023. Bizzarri's contribution to Kering's success has been invaluable during his 18 years of service with the group. Under his visionary leadership, Gucci experienced unprecedented growth, successfully executing an extraordinary growth strategy that elevated the brand's status in the luxury market but more importantly became the blueprint for the development of any other major brand in the cross-sector fashion era. His departure marks the end of an era especially since Gucci is Kering's most profitable brand and at this moment, just a few months after the debut of the new creative director, it is going through a transition phase. Following Marco Bizzarri's departure, Jean-François Palus, currently managing director of Kering Group, will take over as Gucci's temporary president and CEO until a new and more durable appointment is made. Palus will play a key role in rebuilding the brand's influence and momentum, and his job will consist, primarily, of keeping the brand's course straight and returning it to full profitability.

The new Deputy CEO of Kering

Jean-Marc Duplaix, Kering's current Chief Financial Officer since 2012, will assume the role of Deputy and will be responsible for Operations and Finance. In this position, Duplaix will be in charge of all of the Group's business functions, with a focus on increasing efficiency and accountability throughout the organization-his experience in finance suggests that the group is looking to restructure and better organize its operations, getting the "healthy parts" to develop and pruning those that are too slow to grow. Considering also how Kering is developing its beauty branch, also acquiring Creed, and perhaps wants to invest in a large agency dedicated to talent makes his role particularly delicate, as he will have to oversee the development of new "branches" of the big Kering tree. Another detail concerns the level of discipline and rigor Duplaix is expected to ensure through the large-scale operations of the group, now as never before concerned with transparency and the irreproachability of its reputation.

Chanel's former CEO Maureen Chiquet joins the Board

Finally, the Kering Board of Directors will welcome Maureen Chiquet, one of the industry's great veterans, as an independent board member. Chiquet's illustrious career includes serving as Global CEO of Chanel from 2007 to 2016, during which time she played a crucial role in the iconic brand's worldwide expansion, but also chairing the BoDs of Golden Goose and La Double J, working in beauty with Credo, and serving as Senior Advisor to Permira. Her exit from Chanel, which occurred in the midst of the Haute Couture season, remains to this day sudden and in some ways shrouded in mystery-not the less, Chiquet nonetheless represents a powerhouse in the managerial field and hints that her experience will serve to give Kering the same tricks that have led Chanel to billions upon billions in sales as an independent brand. Maureen Chiquet's co-option is subject to shareholder ratification, further underscoring the company's commitment to transparent governance practices.