Eyewear veteran Claudio Gottardi is retiring. The president and chief executive officer of Marchon Eyewear had left Safilo to join the firm in 2009.

“After seven successful and very fulfilling years with Marchon Eyewear and VSP Global, and almost 30 years in the eyewear industry, I have decided to spend more time on the two passions in my life — the arts and my family,” Gottardi said. “My decision to retire from my full-time executive role at Marchon comes after a thoroughly outlined succession plan that we set into place well over a year ago.”

In his time with the firm, Gottardi developed a swath of fashion eyewear licenses — helping to re-envision Chloé optical products and develop a new eyewear footprint for labels like Marni. In 2012, he helped develop a collaboration between Google and Marchon account Diane von Furstenberg to bring the technology firm’s Google Glass product onto the runway.

Gottardi has also recently been involved in developing high-tech products for Nike, to be used at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. In 2015 he was honored by the Accessories Council with the ACE Leadership Award.

Succeeding Gottardi, effective June 1, is Nicola Zotta. At present the managing director of the firm’s operations in the EMEA and APAC markets, Zotta also joined Marchon in 2009. His prior experience includes a 15-year tenure at Safilo, his last role at which saw him serving as group vice president of marketing and licensing.

“Claudio has had a tremendous influence on my entire career, in particular these last seven years with Marchon. As such, I feel well prepared to assume my new responsibilities and look forward to pursuing the pattern of profitable growth that he started,” Zotta said.

VSP Global chief executive officer Jim McGrann said of the executive shake-up: “We are confident Marchon is in good hands with Nicola at the helm. His expertise in go-to-market strategies, product and supply chain that have allowed Marchon to grow significantly in Europe and Asia, will be further utilized in his new role.

“The company thanks Claudio for his service, which has included strengthening Marchon’s position as one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of premium eyewear and sunwear. We wish Claudio great success as he heads into retirement.”

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