Bailey may have bid the financial world an emotional farewell as he prepares to hand over the chief executive officer mantle to Marco Gobbetti in July, but it’s clear Bailey remains committed to Burberry — and is ready to refocus fully on all things creative.
He said Thursday, during an analyst presentation following the 2016-17 results announcement, that a highlight of his tenure as ceo was recruiting Gobbetti, the former Céline ceo who joined Burberry earlier this year as executive chairman for Asia-Pacific and Middle East.
Bailey said Gobbetti’s appointment, which takes effect July 4, “will allow me to redouble my focus on design, product and telling stories.” Bailey will continue as chief creative officer and take on the new title of president in July.
He had held the controversial dual role of chief creative officer and ceo since 2014, following the departure of former ceo Angela Ahrendts for Apple.
Indeed, Bailey used his presentation to drive home his commitment to the FTSE 100 company, and to quell all doubt about his future there. Bailey said he planned to work closely with Gobbetti as the company entered its next chapter, and he’s approaching the future with “huge optimism” for Burberry.
Profits for the year ended March 31 fell 7.3 percent to 286.8 million pounds, or $375.7 million, in line with analysts’ expectations, while revenue in fiscal 2016-17 was down 10.4 percent on a reported basis, and 2 percent on an underlying one to 2.77 billion pounds, or $3.63 billion.
The past year had been a tough one for Burberry, which 12 months ago laid out a restructuring and cost-savings plan aimed at honing the brand for a future of slower growth for luxury goods, and for a digitally engaged, want-it-now customer base.
Shares in the company rose steadily throughout the day, closing up 5.2 percent at 17.26 pounds, or $22.33.