Widely credited for his work transforming Burberry over the past several years, Marco Gobbetti is set to depart the CEO post at the British luxury icon to take up the same title at Italian rival Salvatore Ferragamo.
The move will allow Gobbetti to “return to Italy and be closer to his family,” Burberry said Monday, noting that the chief executive will stay on board through the end of the year and support chairman Gerry Murphy through the transition. A search for his successor is underway.
The chairman hailed Gobbetti’s “transformative impact” and the “immense contribution he has made to Burberry.”
“The board and I are naturally disappointed by Marco’s decision but we understand and fully respect his desire to return to Italy after nearly 20 years abroad,” Murphy added. “With the execution of our strategy on track and our outlook unchanged, we are determined to build on Burberry’s strong foundations to accelerate growth and deliver further value for our shareholders.”
“It has been an incredible privilege to serve as Burberry’s CEO and lead such a hugely talented team. As a group, we have elevated and strengthened the brand and the business, while continuing to be a force for good. With Burberry re-energized and firmly set on a path to strong growth, I feel that now is the right time for me to step down,” Gobbetti said. “I would like to thank my colleagues as well as Gerry and the Board for their partnership. I am fully committed to supporting them through the transition and I have every confidence that the creativity and strong values that define Burberry will continue to drive the Company’s future success.”
Ferragamo, noting Gobbetti’s “long and relevant professional career in the luxury and fashion sector,” confirmed the veteran’s appointment to the CEO post. Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. is the parent firm of Ferragamo Finanziaria S.p.A., its controlling shareholder, and Salvatore Ferragamo Group.
“Marco Gobbetti will take up the position as soon as he is released from his contractual obligations,” the Florence company said on Monday, pointing to his previous positions as CEO of Moschino, and a 13-year stint in the LVMH group where he was CEO of Givenchy and Celine prior to joining Burberry.
In recent years, Gobbetti has steered Burberry toward a focus on full-price sales, managed the brand through Hong Kong protests and the coronavirus pandemic, pivoted to local during Covid-19 lockdowns, invested in digital for growth, embarked on “climate positive” initiatives, and partnered with Tencent to develop its first social retail store, slated to open on July 31 in Shenzhen, China.
Meanwhile, Ferragamo has made its own moves in the past year, including selecting Centric Product Lifecycle Management and enhancing the consumer’s digital experience with the Medallia Experience Cloud.