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Fila CEO Resigns

<CS:BOLD>MILAN -- Michele Scannavini has resigned as Fila's managing director and chief executive officer.<BR><BR>A statement issued by the Biella, Italy-based company said that Scannavini left "to pursue a new professional challenge in a different...

MILAN — Michele Scannavini has resigned as Fila’s managing director and chief executive officer.

A statement issued by the Biella, Italy-based company said that Scannavini left “to pursue a new professional challenge in a different industry,” and thanked him “for his commitment and contribution” to Fila’s business. A company spokeswoman said Scannavini’s new post was not known, but that it was not in the clothing sector. Scannavini could not be reached.

Marco Isaia, Fila’s group chief operating officer since January 1998, will succeed Scannavini.

A spokeswoman at Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali, which owns Fila, said the parting was amicable and that his exit bore no relation to the sale of Fila. As reported, investment company Continental Partners is closing in on the purchase of the brand. “We are sorry Scannavini is leaving,” said the HdP spokeswoman. “But Isaia, who knows the company inside-out, will guarantee a continuity at Fila.”

Scannavini joined Fila in December 1998. He was previously sales marketing director at Ferrari. At Fila, he restructured the company, reducing the operating branches from 42 to 23; he expanded business in the U.S., which currently accounts for 23 percent of sales, and focused on retailing, opening flagships last year in Milan and London. Following a three-year licensing agreement signed with Ferrari in 2001, last month Scannavini signed a three-year agreement running through 2004 with TSS+P, based in Twickenham, England, to produce and distribute the Ferrari Tifosi line of clothing inspired by the Formula 1 team. In the third quarter 2001, Fila registered a 5.3 percent drop in sales, to $254.6 million, and operating losses of $1.9 million. Sales in the U.S. grew 26.8 percent, to $75.6 million. Europe, however, registered a 22 percent drop caused by declines in France, Germany and England. Spain, on the other hand, grew 53 percent and Italy rose 6.5 percent.

As reported, Continental Partners is led by three executives: former Danskin owner Byron Hero, Tony Conti and investment banker John Percival. Conti, a former senior executive at Deloitte Touche, once partnered with Gucci to buy B. Altman and later sold it to Hooker Retail.