MILAN (Reuters) — Andrea Guerra, chief executive of Italy's Luxottica, is close to leaving the eyewear group after differences of opinion with founder and chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio, several newspapers said on Wednesday.
Luxottica, whose brands include Ray-Ban and Oakley, issued a statement saying, “The group is not commenting on today’s media speculation. At present no board meeting has been called. We can confirm that for some time the Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio and the cel Andrea Guerra have been debating the best strategic direction for the group.”
The company's shares were down 4.5 percent in morning trading.
Guerra, who earlier this year was tipped to become a minister in Matteo Renzi's government, is credited with helping turn family controlled Luxottica into the world's largest eyewear maker by revenue.
But according to a report in Corriere della Sera, relations between Guerra and patriarch Del Vecchio soured after Guerra's recent deal with Google to market its Internet-connected spectacles.
The paper cited a source close to Guerra as saying the next move was in the hands of 79-year-old Del Vecchio, one of Italy's richest men who owns 66.5 percent of Luxottica.
"He (Guerra) is a good manager and the stock is reacting. But the company was created by Del Vecchio, not Guerra," said Roberto Lottici, a fund manager at Ifigest who said he had bought Luxottica's shares on Wednesday morning.
Under Guerra, Luxottica has become a world leader in its sector through innovation and acquisitions, including the purchase of U.S. sports eyewear firm Oakley in 2007. Last year, the group had sales of 7.3 billion euros, or $9.7 billion.
Since he became cel in 2004, shares in Luxottica have nearly trebled in value.
Luxottica’s stable of icensed brands include Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tiffany and Versace. The company has more than 7,000 optical and sun stores and its chains include LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and ILORI in North America and Sunglass Hut worldwide.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)