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Patrick Guadagno has exited as president and chief operating officer of Versace USA after four years.
This story first appeared in the October 21, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This confirms reports of his expected departure in WWD last month.
In a statement released Tuesday, Guadagno said, “My tenure at Versace has been a tremendous experience, and I am pleased with what we were able to accomplish. I wish the company continued success and growth in the U.S. and international markets, and I look forward to other challenges in the fashion industry.”
His immediate plans were not known at press time.
In recent months, Guadagno made strides to broaden the designer label’s standing in New York. Saks Fifth Avenue has reinstalled the brand on the third floor of its Fifth Avenue flagship. And Versace recently shored up its presence at Bergdorf Goodman with last month’s opening of a 400-square-foot shop for ready-to-wear, accessories and shoes. The brand had been absent from the store for three years until 2007, when it reentered with its runway collection and was afforded less than optimum space.
Guadagno reported to the Milan office. He generated some controversy last year when a former assistant, Fay Rodriguez, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. The case is still pending.
Prior to joining Versace, Guadagno had been managing director of Dolce & Gabbana’s D&G label in America. Before that, he was president at IT Holding USA, D&G’s licensee. Guadagno is widely credited with initially building D&G in the U.S. and overseeing the transition of its marketing and sales from IT Holding to the label’s own showroom.
Guadagno has also worked as a licensing and marketing consultant with Financo Inc. and Marvin Traub, and has held senior posts at Wilke-Rodriguez and the licensed men’s Calvin Klein business.
Versace has done some housecleaning in its New York office recently. As part of a reorganization plan unveiled last month, Michelle Sodi took on the new post of chief executive officer of Versace USA. He joined the company from Jil Sander America, where he served as president and worked with Versace ceo Gian Giacomo Ferraris, who was chief of Jil Sander AG until he left the company in July.