Jean-François Palus named interim Gucci CEO amid Kering management shuffle

Gucci’s president and CEO since 2015, Marco Bizzarri, is to leave the brand this September after serving at Kering Group for 18 years.

Jean-François Palus, who currently holds the MD role at Kering, will succeed Bizzarri as Gucci’s new president and CEO for a transitional period. 

“Jean-François has been my right-hand man and a daily sparring partner for several decades,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering Group. “He will now focus his energy on getting our largest asset in top shape.”

The executive change follows the departure of Gucci’s former creative director Alessandro Michele last November. Alongside CEO Bizzarri, Michele oversaw a period of soaring growth between 2015 and 2019, with profits increasing nearly four-fold and revenues almost trebling.

Meanwhile, Yves Saint Laurent’s president and CEO, Francesca Bellettini, and Kering’s CFO Jean-Marc Duplaix will take on the deputy CEO roles at Kering. Bellettini will oversee brand development, Duplaix operations and finance.  

“I am confident that the changes we are announcing today will set Kering on a path to success and profitable growth over the long term,” Palus added. 

During the first quarter of this year, Kering Group reported a humble sales growth of 1 per cent, as its flagship label Gucci benefited less than rivals from China’s rebound and experienced a sales slump in the US. The Italian luxury fashion house has been slowing down markedly in recent years. 

Last month, Kering Group acquired 100 per cent of the luxury fragrance brand Creed from funds controlled by BlackRock Long Term Private Capital Europe and current chairman Javier Ferran for US$3.83 billion.

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