MILAN — Luxottica Group SpA hopes to put its management turmoil behind it, at last naming a new co-chief executive of markets to help steer the eyewear giant.
This story first appeared in the October 23, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Leonardo Del Vecchio, chairman of the group, on Wednesday named Procter & Gamble executive Adil Mehboob-Khan to the post. Independent director Marco Mangiagalli was tapped as a member of the human resources committee, succeeding Roger Abravanel, who resigned last week.
Mehboob-Khan’s role will be formally effective Oct. 29, when the board will meet again to approve and release its quarterly financial results. During that meeting, Massimo Vian is expected to be appointed interim ceo for the group with all executive responsibilities until Mehboob-Khan joins Luxottica in early January. Vian will then assume his role as co-ceo of operations and product.
Mehboob-Khan was born in London, his father from Pakistan and his mother Italian-Hungarian, and he grew up in Rome before graduating in engineering at London University. In 1987 he began his career at Procter & Gamble. Since 2011, he has been president of Wella, acquired by Procter & Gamble in 2004. Previously, in 2009, he became vice president in charge of all the European retail beauty businesses for the group.
At Procter & Gamble, Mehboob-Khan will be succeeded by Patrice Louvet as president of the P&G Salon Professional division. Louvet, a 22-year P&G veteran, will also assume leadership of P&G’s Global Prestige division since the current president, Joanne Crewes, is due to retire in December, according to a P&G spokeswoman. Louvet has been president of the company’s global shave-care category.
Vian was born in Verona in 1973 and earned a degree in management engineering at the University of Padua, and then moved to London in 1999. He joined Luxottica in May 2005 as head of its industrial engineering division and then became operations director for Asia. Over the following three-and-a-half years, he lived in China and was responsible for doubling the size of the Asian manufacturing arm, made up of 7,000 employees. Vian returned to Italy as group chief operations officer while he also managed the North American lab network and the Oakley factory in California. In 2013, he was given the additional responsibility for Tecnol’s Brazilian site.
Luxottica has seen some turmoil since ceo Andrea Guerra left the company in September. As reported, last week Del Vecchio, who continues to own a majority of the firm through his holding Delfin Sarl, assumed the role of interim ceo until a pair of co-ceos could be appointed. He took on the role after the departure of Enrico Cavatorta, who was appointed ceo of corporate functions and interim ceo of markets only last month.
Luxottica released the management news at the end of trading here. The group’s shares on Wednesday closed up 2.47 percent at 38.13 euros, or $48.70 at current exchange rate. Shares have been recovering from a 9.5 percent tumble following the news of Cavatorta’s abrupt departure.
The governance shake-up at Luxottica took the industry by surprise, after years of stability and international growth. Last month, Luxottica reshaped its management structure based on a co-ceo model, with Del Vecchio returning to take on a more active role. Guerra left the firm after 10 years, and was to be succeeded by two executives, one focused on the markets and the other dedicated to corporate functions — a management model that left analysts skeptical.
The eyewear maker produces under license for names including the Giorgio Armani Group, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Prada and Versace, and also has a number of owned brands, such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol.