He succeeds Francesco Gori, who held the same title since May 2016 and who will shortly be tapped by another company that is part of the group under the Edizione Srl umbrella.
Luciano Benetton, one of the founders of the fashion group with his siblings Carlo, Giuliana and Gilberto, only last week made a rare public appearance with Oliviero Toscani to present the new course of Fabrica.
“We are confident, we are working and we know the turnaround won’t be fast, but we hope we will reach that level that we deserve,” said the entrepreneur, 82, last Friday. “I am back as representative of the family, flanked by good managers, but the time of the managers is over.”
Benetton retired in April 2012, passing the baton to his son Alessandro, who exited the company after two years. The senior Benetton decided to become newly involved in United Colors of Benetton after years of declining sales. Revenues fell 15.4 percent to 1.37 billion euros in 2016, from 1.62 billion euros in 2014.
The entrepreneur is behind Toscani’s own return to the group and, on Friday, Benetton showed his support to the photographer by attending the official launch of the new course of Fabrica, the think tank created by the latter in 1994. The two men famously collaborated for years on controversial ad campaigns in the Eighties and Nineties, and Toscani photographed a new communication campaign for the brand that bowed in December, showing, for example, a primary school class made up of a multiracial group of children.
Benetton said Friday that it would take at least a year to see the results of the changes in production, distribution and communication that he is spearheading.
When Alessandro Benetton took a step back from his role as chairman in May 2014, for the first time in the history of the brand, which was founded in 1965, a non-family member, Gianni Mion, was appointed to lead the business.
Over the past years, Luciano Benetton has been traveling the world with his Imago Mundi exhibitions of contemporary art works and supported by the Benetton Studies and Research Foundation.