Burberry names Versace boss as new CEO

·2-min read
A mannequin is displayed in a window of Burberry's in central London May 28, 2008. British fashion brand Burberry Group Plc reported a 14 percent rise in annual profit, helped by strong sales of its luxury handbags and trench coats, and declined to comment on talk it could be a takeover target. Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts said in a statement Burberry's adjusted operating profit of 206.2 million pounds ($408 million) in the year to March 31 showed
Burberry said Jonathan Akeroyd shares its values and ambition to build on its unique British creative heritage. Photo Reuters

Burberry (BRBY.L) announced on Wednesday that Jonathan Akeroyd, boss of rival high-end fashion label Versace, will be its new CEO and executive director from April next year. 

He will replace Marco Gobbetti, who had said earlier he will step down from the role at the end of 2021 and head to Italy to run luxury group Salvatore Ferragamo (SFER.MI).

Akeroyd's package includes a salary of £1.1m ($1.5m) per annum and a share plan worth 162.5% of his annual salary.

On top of this he will get a cash and share awards worth £6m over the next four years to cover the loss of share and cash incentives at Versace that he will be giving up.

"These buyout awards are in line with the type of award and deferral schedule of the awards being forfeited by Jonathan,” the company said.

Akeroyd has been heading Milan-based Gianni Versace since June 2016, where he oversaw the $2.1bn sale of the business to Michael Kors.

Jonathan Akeroyd attends the Versace show at Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20. Photo: Getty Images
Jonathan Akeroyd attends the Versace show at Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019/20. Photo: Getty Images

Before that he was the head of Alexander McQueen for 12 years.

"Jonathan is an experienced leader with a strong track record in building global luxury fashion brands and driving profitable growth," said Gerry Murphy, chair of Burberry.

"He shares our values and our ambition to build on Burberry's unique British creative heritage and his deep luxury and fashion industry expertise will be key to advancing the next phase of Burberry's evolution."

In his tenure at Versace, Burberry said Akeroyd reorganised and accelerated growth, "building on the brand's rich creative heritage to elevate product, communications and the customer experience."

He has also held a number of senior fashion roles at London-based luxury department store Harrods. 

"I have long admired Burberry's position as the most iconic British luxury brand and I have a deep affection for its storied heritage," said Akeroyd.

Burberry ticked up on Wednesday morning. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
Burberry ticked up on Wednesday morning. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

The company's retail revenue for the 13 weeks to 26 June rose 86% to £479m, with comparable store sales rising 90% on the same period last year and 1% ahead of the period two years ago.

This was driven by new, younger customers and demand for handbags and trench coats.

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