TITLE :Chairman and chief executive officer.
NOMINATED FOR: It’s been a year to remember for Pinault, who fully emerged from the shadow of his father, PPR founder François Pinault, by reinventing the company as an integrated firm focused on apparel and accessories, with products spanning from Puma sneakers to crocodile leather Gucci handbags.
Despite poor market conditions, Pinault forged ahead with plans to spin off the group’s retail activities. In addition to selling a 30 percent stake in African distribution company CFAO to Japanese firm Toyota Tsusho Corp. in July, it stripped out the activities of books and electronics chain Fnac and mail-order division Redcats from its accounts in preparation for their sale. Outlining the changes at a press day in October, Pinault said he expected demographics and economic development to deliver some 3 billion young and affluent consumers from such emerging nations as China, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil and Russia.
“What is at stake in the longer term, that is to say over the next 50 years or so, is absolutely huge and without precedent in human history,” he said. Even PPR’s top luxury brands have been targeted for a makeover, with the high-profile hiring of Hedi Slimane as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent and the ouster of Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga after a 15-year tenure.