François-Henri Pinault has pushed aside persistent speculation of Gucci’s management change, saying Gucci’s longtime chief executive Marco Bizzari will remain in his position and lead the brand in the post-Alessandro Michele era. told WWD.
On the sidelines of Gucci’s Fall 2023 men’s fashion show in Milan on Friday, Kering’s chairman and chief executive said Bizzarri “has my complete trust. He already had.”
“Marco is clearly the CEO of Gucci’s next chapter,” he said, grinning broadly in an interview with WWD. “I’m totally confident he’ll have to build it with me and we’ll make it work.”
His remarks should further allay investor concerns over further disruption to Kering’s biggest brand and its biggest profit driver.
The Bizzarri-Michele dream team has tripled the size of Gucci since 2015, reaching €9.73 billion in sales last year.
Michele abruptly stepped down from his role as Gucci’s creative director last November, sparking a disagreement over the future of the brand Michele fueled with its gender fluid, retro appeal.
After Michele’s appointment in 2015, Gucci posted five consecutive quarters of growth of over 35% by the first quarter of 2018, and Bizzari hit the brand’s €10 billion revenue target in June of that year. Set up.
But that momentum has stalled recently, with Bizzarri and Pinault prompting Michele to launch a strong design shift, picking up the pace of his collections and pushing the brand even further towards a true luxury positioning. .
A successor to Michele has yet to be named, and the men’s collection shown on Friday was a design studio that riffed on various brand codes with a soup of sailor and rock star styling.
In a recent research note, HSBC’s global head of consumer and retail research, Erwan Rambourg, said Gucci is likely to do better in 2023, with the worst behind it.
When the numbers are released on Feb. 15, it expects fourth-quarter earnings to decline 12.5%.
“The brand lost market share, which in hindsight was likely a strategic mistake, cutting costs in spring 2020 while most of its peers doubled their spending. Aside from this, we believe brand representation has become a little narrower, making it particularly vulnerable in mainland China, where the group has recently tightened its controls,” the HSBC report said. , a more commercial approach should be ensured.…The commitment to spend more in terms of advertising, coupled with stronger teams in mainland China and merchandising, will enable brands to steer their competitors toward sales growth. It should help converge.In fact, it will be in transition.”