fashion-features
fashion-features

PPR Tightens Reins: Gucci Tells Santucci 'You're Out' as CEO

Robert Polet, CEO of Gucci Group, took the helm of the Gucci brand and said the employment of Giacomo Santucci had been “terminated.”

fashion-features/news
A chief protégé of De Sole’s, Santucci was one of the executives touted by PPR to be newly empowered after the exits of De Sole and Ford, who took a hands-on approach to all the brands, especially in areas of marketing and communications.

At the time of Polet’s appointment last April, PPR ceo Serge Weinberg declared, “We were not looking for someone to do the job of our chief executives,” alluding to the prowess of Santucci, Lee and its other brand chiefs.

Santucci’s departure is the latest in a string of defections from Gucci, and industry sources suggest there could be more as PPR brass assert a new corporate culture and turn up the pressure for a quick return on its investment. It paid 7.2 billion euros, or about $9 billion, for the world’s third-largest luxury group.

Santucci was said to already be feeling the heat for sales and profitability figures PPR deemed insufficient for a cash cow like Gucci, which compensates for losses at money-losing acquisitions such as Boucheron, YSL and Balenciaga, as reported.

Polet, who joined Gucci Group as ceo last July from Unilever’s frozen foods division, has yet to table his strategic plan for the luxury conglomerate. It is still expected in December.

But sources said that improving financial performance in all corners of the company is already a primary strategy. The emerging brands, which include Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, already have been told to find sponsorships, do joint ventures or sign licenses to bring them quickly into the black.

“They’re trying to erase what they see as the excesses of the Tom and Dom era,” one source said.

Although Santucci’s exit seemed sudden, he had been working at Gucci without a signed employment contract since late last year. According to sources, Santucci had initially delayed its renewal in the wake of Ford’s and De Sole’s planned exits, especially since he had once been considered a potential successor to De Sole.

But then Weinberg was said to have held up the process.

“Serge never decided — and he delayed and delayed on signing that contract,” one source said. “He eventually offered Santucci a new contract, but by that time, Santucci was furious about the delay and about the terms of the deal. The offer PPR was making Santucci was a silly one.”
Page:  « Previous Next »
VIEW ARTICLE IN ONE PAGE
load comments

ADD A COMMENT

Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply type your comment below as a guest by entering your email and name. Your email address will not be shared. Please note that WWD reserves the right to remove profane, distasteful or otherwise inappropriate language.
News from WWD
Newsletters

Sign upSign up for WWD and FN newsletters to receive daily headlines, breaking news alerts and weekly industry wrap-ups.

LatestPublications
getIsArchiveOnly= hasAccess=false hasArchiveAccess=false