The executive, who is the son of patriarch Luciano Benetton, heads private equity fund 21 Invest, formerly 21 Investimenti, which he founded in 1992. He has on-and-off been involved in the Benetton fashion group, taking on the top role in April 2012, succeeding his father, who had overseen the company for 47 years but exited in 2016. He served as chairman of the Benetton Group from April 2012 to May 2014.
His father is one of the founders of the fashion group with his siblings Carlo, Giuliana and Gilberto and he returned to helm the company in 2018 as executive president.
Representing the four family branches, the other members of the board named Thursday include Carlo Bertagnin Benetton (son of Giuliana), Christian (son of the late Carlo), and Ermanno Boffa (son of the late Gilberto).
Alessandro Benetton succeeds Italian academic and former Alitalia special administrator Enrico Laghi, also a member of the board, who is moving from the chairman’s role at Edizione to become chief executive officer.
Four other independent members of the board will be selected by the end of January.
The new governance sees a five-year lock-up period that will allow control of Edizione to remain within the Benetton family in the generational transition.
In Februrary 2019, then-newly appointed artistic director Jean-Charles de Castelbajac presented his first collection and runway show for United Colors of Benetton in Milan.
Edizione’s diversified investments include stakes in airport and motorway caterer Autogrill, telecom masts group Cellnex, insurer Generali and investment bank Mediobanca, but it said in a statement that it sees its shares in the Benetton fashion group, Atlantia and Autogrill as “strategic.”
The holding has a 33.10 percent stake in infrastructure group Atlantia, which has controlled Italy’s main highway company Autostrade per l’Italia SpA, or Aspi for more than two decades. The board of Atlantia last year agreed to sell the entire stake in Aspi, almost three years after the collapse of a section of the Morandi bridge in Genoa in August 2018, which caused 43 deaths, the evacuation of hundreds of people, and heavy structural damages. Opened in 1967 and part of the A10 highway linking the French and Italian rivieras, the bridge was maintained and operated by Autostrade Per l’Italia.
The bridge was renamed San Giorgio and was rebuilt based on a design by architect Renzo Piano.
As per the most recent figures available, in 2019 Edizione’s revenues rose 36 percent to 17.9 billion euros, boosted by the consolidation of Abertis, leader in the management of toll roads and infrastructure.
Edizione’s clothing and textile division represented 6.8 percent of total sales, ringing in at 1.23 billion euros.
Infrastructure accounted for 62.6 percent of the total with sales of 11.2 billion euros. Food services represented 30.1 percent of the total with sales of 5.4 billion euros.
In 2019, Edizione’s operating profit totaled 1.9 billion euros, down 4 percent compared with 2018, impacted by the provision of 1.5 billion euros made by Autostrade per l’Italia linked to the alleged noncompliance dispute following the collapse of the Morandi bridge.