Claudio Gottardi has been named president of Marchon Eyewear Inc. and chief executive officer of Marchon International after serving for 23 years at Safilo USA, most recently as ceo.
This story first appeared in the February 11, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Gottardi will report to current Marchon Eyewear ceo Al Berg, and will be responsible for the company’s brand management, marketing initiatives and design and product development, as well as its international business.
“Claudio has an enviable record of success in the optical business,” said Berg. “His industry relationships and experience in all of the major aspects of the eyewear business will help us expand our business globally.”
Gottardi’s new role will allow Berg to focus on Marchon’s long-term strategy, which includes taking the firm to revenues of $1 billion in the next five years.
Headquartered in Melville, N.Y., Marchon produces eyewear and sunwear for brands such as Calvin Klein, Coach, Emilio Pucci and Michael Kors. The company also manufactures its own collections of eyewear under the Airlock and Flexon brands. The company was founded in 1983 by Berg; Larry Roth, executive vice president of Western Hemisphere sales, and Jeff White, who died in 2005.
In August, Marchon was acquired by the $2.6 billion eye care benefits provider VSP for $735 million in cash and debt. The acquisition equipped VSP’s 25,000 independent optometrists with Marchon’s eyewear collections for their retail divisions, as well as the firm’s branding and sales tools. As part of the transaction, VSP acquired Marchon’s 50 percent ownership interest in Eye Designs, which provides custom interior design and merchandising systems for the optical industry.