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In Brief: Giannaccari Exits Bottega … Coach Fire … A & F Gets Diverse …

<B>GIANNACCARI EXITS BOTTEGA</B>: Gucci Group has lost another executive: company veteran Francesco Giannaccari. Sources said Giannaccari, chief financial officer of Bottega Veneta and one of the driving forces behind the brand, stepped down this...

GIANNACCARI EXITS BOTTEGA: Gucci Group has lost another executive: company veteran Francesco Giannaccari. Sources said Giannaccari, chief financial officer of Bottega Veneta and one of the driving forces behind the brand, stepped down this week. Gucci Group officials declined to comment Tuesday. Giannaccari was the first Gucci Group executive to join Bottega after the firm acquired the brand in 2001 and worked closely with Bottega creative director Tomas Maier. Giannaccari’s departure follows that of Gucci’s worldwide merchandising director, Tom Mendenhall, who left last month. Giacomo Santucci, former president and ceo of Gucci, saw his employment terminated in October.

COACH FIRE: Coach executives were evacuated briefly on Tuesday when a fire broke out in Coach headquarters at 516 West 34th Street. The likes of chief executive officer Lew Frankfort, president and executive creative director Reed Krakoff and chief financial officer Michael Devine crowded 33rd Street as firemen made their way to the sixth floor where the fire broke out in the 12-story building. The sixth floor is under construction and the small fire was caused when a spark flew astray while a welder was working on the building. Smoke filled the building’s seventh floor, which remained closed for the afternoon. However, Coach workers were able to return to the other floors shortly after the fire was put out.

A&F GETS DIVERSE: Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said it implemented several new diversity initiatives as part of a consent decree resolving all matters related to three diversity lawsuits. The initiatives include: a previously announced office of diversity; additional diversity training programs; improved internal complaint procedures; enhanced compliance processes; hiring a consultant to help the company develop protocol for recruitment and hiring, and an effort to hire more minority employees. Earlier this month, Abercrombie said it settled the three class-action lawsuits for $50 million, made up of a payment to the class as well as fees and expenses. The lawsuits alleged that Abercrombie discriminated against Latino, Asian-American and African-American applicants and workers. Abercrombie said in a Tuesday statement that in the consent decree the company denies engaging in any discriminatory practices. Philip Berkowitz, a partner with the law firm Nixon Peabody LLP, who specializes in discrimination and wrongful dismissal cases, said the steps Abercrombie is taking to improve its diversity program are normal now that the case has been settled.

This story first appeared in the November 17, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.