This is almost as big as Tom Ford leaving in 2003. Gucci CEO Mark Lee is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of the Italian luxury brand, effective December 31.
In his four-year tenure, Lee grew Gucci revenues 46%. According to WWD Lee will be succeeded by Bottega Veneta president and ceo Patrizio di Marco. Marco Bizzari, ceo at Stella McCartney, will succeed di Marco at Bottega.
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While luxury brands have continued to post good results despite the economic turbulence, Gucci has been under intense scrutiny since it posted a 3.3% drop in first-quarter sales, which it blamed on tough conditions in the U.S. and Europe and the impact of currency exchange. “We are not satisfied [with Gucci’s quarter] and we have been addressing it at all levels,” Jean-François Palus, PPR’s chief financial officer, said at the time during a conference call with analysts.
Lee succeeded Giacomo Santucci at the helm of Gucci in October 2004, and was instrumental in promoting an insider, Frida Giannini, who had been part of a trio of designers in the wake of Ford’s exit, to the brand’s sole creative director overseeing all product categories. Giannini previously oversaw only accessories.
Read more "Gucci’s Mark Lee to Step Down" here.