MILAN — A new chief executive officer is now tasked with shaping the Safilo of tomorrow.
Luisa Delgado is retiring for personal reasons effective Feb. 28 and will be succeeded by Angelo Trocchia, who will join Safilo on April 1 and is expected to take on the ceo role on April 24. Chairman Eugenio Razelli has been granted interim powers. The announcement was made on Friday at the end of trading in Milan, where the Italian eyewear company is publicly listed. The contract between Safilo and Delgado was mutually terminated.
Trocchia was previously chairman and ceo of Unilever Italia, a role he held since 2013. Before this, he was chairman and ceo of Unilever Israel. After an MBA at the STOA’/MIT in Naples and a PhD in aeronautical engineering at the University La Sapienza in Rome, Trocchia began his career at Unilever in 1991, first holding responsibilities in the supply chain and sales departments.
Delgado, in addition to her fees relating to year 2018, will be granted 1 million euros including 200,000 euros for a six-month non-compete agreement and benefits ranging from stock options, and insurance coverage until the end of the year.
The executive has led the company through a period of transition, focusing on its 2020 Strategic Plan after Kering said it was assuming control of its eyewear business, which includes the Gucci brand, a longtime Safilo license.
Safilo produces and distributes eyewear under license for brands including Fendi, Dior and Jimmy Choo, as well as house brands Carrera, Polaroid and Safilo. Delgado has been working on differentiating the group’s portfolio, adding brands ranging from Moschino, Givenchy and Elie Saab to Havaianas, Rag & Bone, Swatch and Rebecca Minkoff, while renewing the licenses with Dior, Jimmy Choo, Tommy Hilfiger, Max Mara, Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and Saks.
To further stimulate creativity, Delgado has opened design studios in main cities globally — New York; Milan; Portland, Ore. (more focused on sports lines such as proprietary brand Smith), and Hong Kong to flank the existing one in Padova, Italy. She also opened new emerging markets with new direct subsidiaries and via global partners. Delgado has brought production back into Italy, opened a school to develop new artisans and has been working on Safilo’s distribution center to simplify its structure and increase productivity. She has been building a managerial structure with 120 new managers, and cutting costs.
Last month, the company said that preliminary 2017 sales decreased 16.4 percent to 1.04 billion euros, compared with 1.25 billion euros in 2016.
The Italian eyewear company attributed the decline to the loss of the Gucci license, which has become a supply agreement, representing 155 million euros, down 12 percent, and to the implementation of the new Order-to-Cash IT system in the Padua, Italy, warehouse early in the year.
The Gucci license ended in December 2016, two years earlier than planned.
Final full-year and fourth-quarter figures will be released March 13.
The company said it “is expecting profitability for the year to be impacted by the somewhat larger decline in sales than planned in the fourth quarter, leading to adjusted preliminary full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 38 million to 40 million euros.”
Safilo is holding talks with unions to find a solution to “a 15 percent production surplus,” a spokeswoman said in January. This is due to a readjustment following delays in production impacted by complications relating to Safilo’s new warehouse system in Padua and to the slowdown of Dior eyewear sales.