Brunello Cucinelli Presents the Hamlet of the Spirit

MILAN — True to his word, Brunello Cucinelli is taking a step back.

While confirming his role as executive chairman and creative director of his namesake luxury company, Cucinelli on Thursday passed the chief executive officer baton to Luca Lisandroni and Riccardo Stefanelli.

Cucinelli first revealed his intention to be flanked by two co-ceo’s last year. Stefanelli is the husband of his eldest daughter Camilla, has 14 years of experience within the company, and will be based at the headquarters in Solomeo. He will be in charge of product and operations. Lisandroni joined four years ago from Luxottica and his role extends to markets. He will be based in Milan. The two men have already been training for their roles for two years.

“It is with great emotion and hope that I look at the future of mankind and our industry,” said Cucinelli. “I envisage that these two young men in their 40s, individuals of huge professional value and in love with the great universal concepts of truth, beauty and humanity, will be able to lead the enterprise for a long time as examples of guardianship for future generations.”

Cucinelli in September will be 67 and last year he said that later in his life he “would like to lead a life as a senior adviser working, as far as the company goes, as operating executive chairman and a creative director. I would like to be the adviser for my company, for younger generations. I can’t call it a retirement.”

Moreno Ciarapica was confirmed as chief financial officer. The board’s term of office will span over three years until 2022.

The appointments were made effective during the board meeting that approved the company’s 2019 financial statements, and allocated a net profit of 57.2 million euros to reserves.

Cucinelli’s decision mirrors that of Luxottica Group founder Leonardo Del Vecchio, who after the exit of longstanding ceo Andrea Guerra in September 2014, shook up the group’s management structure and established a co-ceo model — a move that at the time puzzled analysts. It was also not to last. Adil Khan left his role as ceo for markets after one year and Massimo Vian, ceo for product and operations, left in December 2017, three months before the expiration of his term. Executive responsibilities were then consolidated in the hands of executive chairman Del Vecchio and deputy chairman Francesco Milleri, who took on the ceo role.

The news of the management changes at Cucinelli was released just before the end of trading in Milan, where the company is publicly listed. Shares closed at 27.40 euros, slipping 1.79 percent.

As reported, the company in 2019 logged another year of growth, closing the 12 months with a normalized net profit of 49.3 million euros, up 7.1 percent compared with 46 million euros in the previous year. This excludes benefits derived by the Patent Box benefits totaling 5.6 million euros last year and 5 million euros in 2018.

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, sales rose 9.9 percent to 607.8 million euros compared with 553 million euros in the previous year.

The company weathered the coronavirus pandemic better than some of its peers, as sales in the three months ended March 31 were down 2.3 percent to 156.7 million euros compared with 160.4 million euros in the same period last year. Commenting that performance, Cucinelli remained positive about the future, believing the second half of the year will help balance the expected slowdown in the second quarter.

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