Bally Taps Hauptkorn as CEO

Bally has appointed Berndt Hauptkorn as chief executive officer, effective Monday.

MILAN — Bally has appointed Berndt Hauptkorn as chief executive officer, effective Monday.

This story first appeared in the October 30, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Hauptkorn is no stranger to Bally since previously he was ceo of Labelux Group, the two-year-old, Vienna-based luxury goods holding company. Owned by Joh. A. Benckiser SE, a family-controlled financial holding company, Labelux acquired Bally in April 2008 from private investment fund TPG Capital.

Under Hauptkorn’s stewardship, Labelux’s portfolio grew to include Solange Azagury-Partridge, Derek Lam and Zagliani. He succeeds Marco Franchini, who left Bally in the spring for personal reasons after orchestrating a major overhaul, tapping Brian Atwood as creative director and returning the company to the black.

Though Bally doesn’t release sales figures, Franchini in April said he expected to close fiscal 2008 with sales of around 500 million Swiss francs, or $489.1 million.

Discussing future plans in an exclusive interview, Hauptkorn said he wants to steer Bally to the next level and maximize the momentum the brand is enjoying, while maintaining its Swiss heritage and product uniqueness. “We want Bally to have a clear positioning and we will continue to develop a high-quality timeless elegance with a twist,” he said.

He will also revise the retail network to ensure that all of Bally’s 181 directly operated stores and 515 other points of sale reflect the same image and are in similar quality locations, regardless of their profitability. “For example, we just shuttered a tiny store in Rome to open a new one with four windows on Via Condotti,” he said. A new store will open next week in Singapore. Key markets to bolster include Asia and German-speaking Northern European ones.

Starting in January, Reinhard Mieck will succeed Hauptkorn as Labelux’s ceo, after 12 years with Reckitt Benckiser.