If Domenico De Sole makes running Gucci Group look charmingly easy, that’s because he manages the $2 billion company with three principal tenants: discipline, common sense and leadership by example.

As chairman, president and chief executive officer of Gucci Group, De Sole has had plenty of opportunities to panic: facing a skeptical financial market, the Asian economic crisis, the impacts of Sept. 11 and the slowdown in the luxury goods sector. But nothing has shaken his strategy to build Gucci and its umbrella of brands via a philosophy of total control.

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