Gucci recruits its new deputy CEO from Louis Vuitton

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Apr 11, 2024

In the midst of its repositioning, Gucci has announced a new key appointment to complete its front-line management team. Kering‘s flagship label has recruited Stefano Cantino from Louis Vuitton to take on the newly created role of deputy CEO to support CEO Jean-François Palus. Palus took the helm at Gucci last autumn, while the creative direction has been led by Sabato de Sarno since early 2023, the designer having succeeded the iconic Alessandro Michele.

Stefano Cantino – ph Matthew Brookes – Gucci

“Stefano Cantino will take up his new position on May 2, 2024, reporting directly to Jean-François Palus. In this newly created position, he will share responsibility with Jean-François Palus for defining and implementing brand strategy,” the French luxury group said in a statement.

Last summer, Kering had initially placed Jean-François Palus, the company’s former deputy CEO and one of the closest associates of top boss François-Henri Pinault, at the helm of Gucci “for a transitional period”, while a new CEO was found to succeed Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s CEO since 2015 who was sacked in July 2023. Then the group changed its plans. In February, on the occasion of the publication of the annual results, Jean-François Palus was fully confirmed in his role as captain, with the company specifying that there was no CEO recruitment in progress.

A new configuration now seems to have been found to speed up Gucci’s relaunch with the arrival of this Italian manager, known for his expertise in luxury goods. Since 2018, he has been senior vice-president in charge of communications and events at Louis Vuitton. A graduate in political science from the University of Turin, he has spent most of his career at Prada, where he started in 1997, rising through the ranks and taking on increasing responsibilities each time. For the last four years, between 2014 and 2018, he has held the position of Marketing, Communications and Development Director.

“His vast experience in the luxury industry at senior levels in various organisations, his wide range of skills, as well as his strategic thinking and artistic culture, make him a great asset to our team. Stefano will work very closely with me, and in perfect harmony with the entire Gucci team, to implement our action plans across the company,” commented Jean-François Palus.

“Stefano Cantino’s appointment as Deputy CEO of Gucci is a further step in strengthening the iconic Florentine house. His extensive experience in strategic roles within leading companies in the luxury sector is a valuable addition to Jean-François’ strong leadership and Sabato’s creative strength,” added Francesca Bellettini, Kering’s Deputy Managing Director in charge of House Development.

This appointment comes at a time when Kering recently announced that Gucci’s sales should be “down by almost 20%” in the first quarter of 2024, while the company’s turnover is expected to fall by “around 10%”. The turnaround of the Italian brand is all the more urgent given that it accounts for 50% of group sales and two-thirds of operating profitability.

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Gucci recruits its new deputy CEO from Louis Vuitton

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