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MILAN — The Roberto Cavalli Group said Friday that chief executive officer Gianluca Brozzetti and chief operating officer Carlo Di Biagio are leaving the company and their responsibilities will be split between Cavalli himself, who is also president of the firm, and Daniele Corvasce, counselor and corporate legal affairs director.
Brozzetti and Di Biagio will remain minority shareholders of the group. The shift was revealed along with the company’s 2013 unaudited earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which are expected to represent 11.2 percent of total revenues. Sales in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31 grew 9.3 percent to 201 million euros, or $265.3 million at average exchange.
Brozzetti and Di Biagio, who were tapped in September 2009, are leaving on the eve of the Feb. 22 opening of the biggest Roberto Cavalli boutique, five floors located on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone, and after spearheading the company’s global growth while rationalizing its structure.
Cavalli said he was “really grateful” to the two executives for refocusing his company. “I appreciated their experience, professionalism and great discipline they brought to the company, so that it could be stronger and ready for future growth challenges,” he said.
“It’s been a great honor to work with one of the biggest creative talents of Italian fashion,” said Brozzetti. “In these years, we have appreciated the great talent of the designer and, learning to look at things from different angles, together we have succeeded in creating the growth on international markets that this brand deserves.”
When the two executives joined the company, Cavalli said the move closed the door on selling a stake in the firm to investors, after abandoning plans to let go of 30 percent of his business to Italian private equity firm Clessidra SGR SpA. Coincidentally, the Cavalli Group earlier on Friday issued a statement in response to an article published in the weekly Il Mondo that claimed the designer was negotiating a sale to private equity firm Permira. The statement specified that “no agreement, not even preliminary, has been signed in reference to a hypothetical sale of the group.” The statement also said there were no plans to discuss a sale of the company during a meeting of the board scheduled that day.
Brozzetti joined Cavalli from Finnish yacht builder Nautor’s Swan, where he was ceo. He has also had senior roles at Asprey, Bulgari, Gucci Group and Louis Vuitton, and is an alumnus of McKinsey & Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.
Di Biagio is a former finance director of P&G in Italy, and joined Cavalli from board-level roles at a number of Italian and international firms and has experience taking companies public, namely motorcycle makers Ducati and Vectrix.
Outlining year-end results, the group said revenues in 2013 were lifted by a 7.1 percent growth in retail sales, which accounted for 70 percent of the business.
Sales in Cavalli-owned units grew 18.6 percent. The company has 179 boutiques, including 90 Roberto Cavalli, 44 Just Cavalli, 31 Cavalli Class and 14 Roberto Cavalli Junior, up by 11 units compared with the previous year. In 2013, new stores opened in cities including Saint-Tropez, Vienna and Hong Kong. The company renovated its Rodeo Drive boutique in Los Angeles and expanded its Beijing unit at the Peninsula. New franchised stores included locations in Bucharest, Romania; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait City; a second venue in Istanbul, and renovated shops-in-shop at Printemps in Paris and Selfridges in London.
Last year, sales derived from licenses grew 15.3 percent, lifted by the relaunch of Just Cavalli, produced and distributed by Staff International, which succeeded Ittierre.