Burberry says Celine's Gobbetti to succeed Bailey as CEO

by Douglas Stevenson Julio 12, 2016, 3:09
Burberry says Celine's Gobbetti to succeed Bailey as CEO

Marco Gobbetti, now CEO of French luxury brand Céline, will take over the top role at Burberry from Christopher Bailey, the company announced Monday.

"Since taking on the combined role of chief executive and chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey has done an excellent job set against a backdrop of challenging market conditions". Burberry said he would retain his creative role and also take the title of president. The retailer's shares have lost more than a fifth of their value over the past year, but have recovered a little over three percent in the year-to-date.

"All in all, this is a step forward for Burberry, where we perceived a need of reinvention and stronger direction".

In the 2015/16 year both revenue (£2.5bn/$3.3bn) and profit were down on the previous year, with the wholesale division - in which duty free and travel retail sales sit - down by -2% to £635m.

Burberry chairman Sir John Peace said: "With Julie's appointment, we have an individual who has an outstanding track record in the commercial and financial aspects of a global business as well as business transformation".

"On a personal level, I know that we are going to enjoy a wonderfully collaborative partnership that makes me very excited for our future at Burberry", said Bailey in a statement. Burberry embodies British country life with its iconic plaid scarves yet more than a decade ago fell victim as less-fashionable, lower-income Brits known as "chavs" wore the brand, hurting its image.

Critics say some of Burberry's mistakes were self-inflicted, seeking to become a digital age trailblazer but paying too little attention to the substance of its fashion message.

Last month it was announced that Bailey would take a 75 per cent cut to his pay package.

Burberry is getting a new boss.

The leadership shakeup has also seen chief financial officer Carol Fairweather step down from the company to be replaced by Julie Brown, who now heads up finance at global medical technology business Smith and Nephew. Brown was working as the CFO at Smith and Nephew.

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