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Marzotto Exiting Valentino

The Valentino exodus continues. Valentino Fashion Group said Friday that company chairman Matteo Marzotto would leave the iconic atelier.

MILAN — The Valentino exodus continues.

This story first appeared in the February 19, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Valentino Fashion Group said Friday that company chairman Matteo Marzotto would leave the iconic atelier, less than three weeks after Valentino himself retired.

VFG said Marzotto’s decision to leave was “taken together with the new shareholder,” Permira, which bought the fashion group that also includes Hugo Boss for $3.55 billion last fall.

The 41-year-old will leave the company on March 19 when 2007 results are published.

“These last six years have been full of passion,” Marzotto said. “It is a personal satisfaction to think that I have contributed to a successful project, which, after having completed an important transition, can now look at its own future with enthusiasm and leadership.”

A former director of his family’s textiles blankets division, Marzotto became a fashion personality at Valentino. He traveled extensively with the designer and Giancarlo Giammetti and even made tabloid headlines as Naomi Campbell’s squeeze.

What’s next in store for Marzotto remains to be seen. But Marzotto said he is willing to look for entrepreneurial challenges.

“This is the feeling I have today,” he said.

Ambitious and adventurous, the fashion executive is unlikely to stay out of the spotlight for long — although he could take time to indulge his passion for adrenalin-inducing pursuits. Marzotto pilots choppers, has competed in dirt-bike competitions and even completed the grueling Paris-Dakar auto rally.

“Matteo is a unique person, both from a professional and a personal point of view,” stated Stefano Sassi, VFG’s chief executive officer.

Marzotto’s departure comes on the heels of Bruno Sälzer stepping down as ceo of Hugo Boss. It’s been a transitional period for VFG under new owner Permira and one of the greatest changes is about to unfold when the brand’s new creative director, Alessandra Facchinetti, makes her runway debut during the Paris fall collections.