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Versace Names Di Risio as CEO and Strengthens Board

Versace named a new ceo, Giancarlo Di Risio, and new board members, but its largest shareholder, Allegra Versace Beck, chose not to take a seat.

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Giancarlo Di Risio

Giancarlo Di Risio

Photo By WWD Staff

MILAN — Versace named a new chief executive officer and new board members at a meeting here Thursday — but the new board does not include its largest single shareholder, Allegra Versace Beck, who chose not to join it.

Versace shareholders — meaning Beck, who owns 50 percent of the firm; her mother Donatella Versace, who holds 20 percent, and her uncle Santo Versace, who controls 30 percent — appointed former Fendi and IT Holding ceo Giancarlo Di Risio as the company’s new ceo. It also agreed to expand its board by adding four new members independent of the family.

“We are pleased with the significant strengthening of the company’s management with the appointment of Giancarlo Di Risio as well as the enriching of our board of directors and the strong range of independent professionals who have been called to join it,” Beck, Santo Versace and Donatella Versace said in a statement. It was the first board meeting of the company since Donatella Versace completed her stay at a rehabilitation center in California for substance abuse.

Di Risio was not available for comment.

Beck, who turned 18 this year and thus inherited full control of the 50 percent stake in Versace that her uncle Gianni left her, could have joined the board but chose not to. Beck has enrolled this fall as a student at an American university, and it is believed she will be spending most of her time in the U.S., a factor that could have influenced her decision.

Di Risio will join Versace’s board, along with three others: Marco Salomoni, Paolo Colombo and Massimo Cremona. Colombo and Cremona are both business professors at Milan universities and do corporate consulting. Salomoni is no stranger to the fashion industry, owning a minority stake in Prada Holding NV and sitting on the board of that company since at least 2000, according to Prada’s annual reports. Versace said that Beck and Santo and Donatella Versace voted unanimously to approve the new board, which has a mandate through 2006. Santo Versace was reconfirmed as president of the board at the meeting.

Versace’s board used to consist of three members — Santo and Donatella Versace and Luxottica ceo Leonardo Del Vecchio. The newly expanded body will meet Sept. 2 to reconfirm Donatella Versace as vice president and approve Di Risio as ceo.
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