PARIS — Virginie Morgon, who piloted Eurazeo to become one of Europe’s most prominent private equity players, is stepping down as chief executive officer and will be replaced by a four-member executive board.
Perhaps best known in fashion circles for spearheading Eurazeo’s 2011 investment in Moncler and its 2019 divestment, which netted the fund around 1.4 billion euros in proceeds, Morgon vastly expanded the firm’s international profile, even as it remained an active player in the hunt for promising fashion and beauty brands.
Eurazo’s investments in the space have included Axel Arigato, Nest, Vestiaire Collective, Bandier, Herschel Supply Co. and Pangaea.
Morgon’s exit was sudden and the management overhaul was decided during weekend meetings. In a release Monday morning, Eurazeo said the mandates of Nicolas Huet, Eurazeo’s general secretary, and Marc Frappier, head of Eurazeo’s mid-large buyout investment division, would end along with Morgon’s.
She was named CEO in 2017 after serving three years as deputy CEO and more than a decade on its executive board.
Morgon is succeed by a four-member executive board composed of two chairmen, Christophe Bavière and William Kadouch-Chassaing, along with Sophie Flak and Olivier Millet.
The chairman and CEO positions are to rotate annually, with Kadouch-Chassaing succeeding Morgon as CEO and Bavière functioning as chairman of the board.
This “new, collegial and focused” executive board has been given the mission to “accelerate Eurazeo’s development toward third-party asset management, optimize the capital allocation and continue to improve the company’s financial and non-financial performance for the benefit of its clients and shareholders, by leveraging on Eurazeo’s talented teams.”
Eurazeo has 32.4 billion euros in assets under management, and investments in 530 companies. It is listed on Euronext Paris and its prominent shareholders include the David-Weill, Decaux and Richardson families.
In a statement, Jean-Charles Decaux, president of Eurazeo’s supervisory board, thanked Morgon for her “major contribution to the company. Since joining Eurazeo in 2008, Virginie Morgon has accelerated the group’s growth, diversification and internationalization.
“Under her leadership, Eurazeo has become one of the leading private equity platforms in Europe, capable of supporting companies from venture capital to large-scale transactions. Her strong commitment to ESG has enabled Eurazeo to benefit from a key strategic differentiator among asset managers,” he added.
Eurazeo held out hope that the new board leadership would “instill a new dynamic to accelerate the
development of Eurazeo’s activities and to deploy a high-performance strategy creating value for the benefit of all its stakeholders.”
In a statement, Morgon said she leaves the CEO position with “huge pride in the successful transformation of the group.” She noted it has logged double-digit growth over the last five years, and now operates in 10 countries.
“Our group has one of the most diversified investment platforms on the market and our investment strategies now encompass venture capital, private equity, private debt and real assets. We have also been recognized as a pioneer and leader in ESG, as well as a driver of innovation and financier of the real economy,” she added.
Eurazeo is slated to unveil its full-year 2022 results on March 8.
Bavière, 58, has been a member of Eurazeo’s executive board since 2021, and is the founding
chairman of the investment firm Idinvest Partners, which was merged with Eurazeo in 2018 and
fully integrated in 2020.
Kadouch-Chassaing, 53, is general director finance and strategy and chief investment officer at Eurazeo since last year, having held a similar post at French bank Société Générale.
Flak, 51, is Eurazo’s managing partner in charge of ESG and digital, and member of its partners committee.
Millet, 58, has been a member of the executive board since 2018, manages Eurazeo’s investments in small and medium-sized companies, and supervises the development of its health care activities.