MILAN — Musical chairs are still going strong at Italia Independent Group.
The eyewear company has tapped Marco Cordeddu as its new chief executive officer, it said on Friday. In his new role, he succeeds Mario Pietribiasi, who joined Italia Independent in April 2019, and exited on Oct. 9 over strategic differences.
Before landing at Italia Independent, Cordeddu had a long career at prominent companies across the fashion, publishing, entertainment and automotive industries, covering top roles at Canepa, De Agostini Publishing, Mikado Film and Fiat Auto, respectively.
He is also president of the Stalam SpA group, which manufactures radio-frequency equipment for the drying and thermal processing of raw materials and finished industrial products.
Among his first tasks at Italia Independent will be to review and complete the five-year business plan of the company, approval of which has been postponed to a board meeting taking place on Oct. 30.
“The strategic vision of the new chief executive officer converges with ours toward the consolidation of the new business model, which is aimed to enhance the Italia Independent brand,” said the company’s president and founder Lapo Elkann. “Our commitment now is focused more than ever on giving back value to our company and building a strong future for Italia Independent, for all of our shareholders and our existing and future clients.”
“I accept this challenge with enthusiasm and the certainty of being able to contribute to the growth and development of the company,” said Cordeddu. “Italia Independent has its strong points in the brand, innovation and identity of the product,” he continued, adding that the firm will need to leverage these assets and to “work hard, but rapidly to get the results and market positions we think we deserve and our shareholders expect from us.”
In 2015, Italia Independent was hit by financial troubles, which required the company to restructure by reducing costs and reinforcing the product offering. To support the relaunch of the firm, Elkann and his brother, John Elkann, who is president of FCA, increased the company’s capital by 15 million euros in December 2016.
In 2018, Italia Independent continued to operate at a loss, although reduced compared with 2017. In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, the loss amounted to 6 million euros, compared with 9.7 million euros in the previous year. Revenues fell 12.2 percent to 19.3 million euros, due to the sale of nonstrategic assets, compared with 22 million euros at the end of the previous year.
As reported, in February investment fund Creative Ventures Srl acquired 25.44 percent of Italia Independent, which is listed on the AIM Alternative Market of Capital segment of the Milan Stock Exchange. Creative Ventures Srl is controlled by the fund Talent EuVeca through AVM Gestioni Sgr and investment fund Centurion Global Fund Sicav.
Lapo Elkann retains a 53.59 percent stake in Italia Independent.