MILAN — Richard Ginori said Tuesday that Giovanni Giunchedi is leaving his role of chairman and chief executive officer of the Italian porcelain company, adding that this is a “fully consensual and natural end” of Giunchedi’s term “after reaching a series of key milestones in relaunching the brand, which are especially noteworthy in light of the difficult conditions in which the company has operated in recent years.”
Giunchedi has been in the roles since 2016 and will be focusing on his family and personal interests while handing over his responsibilities ad interim to Mehdi Benabadji, chief operating officer of Kering, which controls Richard Ginori.
Kering thanked Giunchedi for his “considerable contribution” to the company, including the finalization of the acquisition of the Sesto Fiorentino industrial site. Giunchedi was instrumental in helping Kering to acquire last August, after five years of negotiations, the plant on the outskirts of Florence, which houses the Italian tableware and porcelain brand’s production operations — a fundamental step in the relaunch of the label.
The Tuscany-based industrial site had been rented from liquidators and a pool of banks since 2013, when Richard Ginori was declared bankrupt. In April that year, Gucci acquired the brand at an auction with an offer of 13 million euros. In 2016, Richard Ginori, which dates back to 1735, passed under the “other brands” division of Kering.
The company saw more changes following Alessandro Michele’s arrival at Gucci as creative director in January 2015. Michele, who had joined Gucci’s design team in 2002, was also named creative director of Richard Ginori in September 2014. That year he conceived the Oriente Italiano [Italian Orient], which remains a successful collection to this day, Giunchedi told WWD earlier this year. Last July, Gucci revealed the launch of a Décor line, including porcelain items manufactured by Richard Ginori.
Kering has raised the positioning of the brand after years of medium-term strategies aimed at the mass market, primarily with tableware. For example, the luxury group is emphasizing its work with Giò Ponti, who was artistic director of Richard Ginori from 1923 to 1927 and collaborated with the brand until 1930.
Giunchedi joined Kering in 2012 as sustainability director at Bottega Veneta and was appointed ceo of Richard Ginori in April 2016. Before that, he was ceo of Sergio Rossi from January 2015 until the acquisition of the footwear brand from Kering by Investindustrial late that year.
He has strengthened the brand’s web site with a new design and launched online sales in Europe and, last July, in China with Secoo, one of China’s largest premium e-commerce platforms, with an eye to growing business in the region.
Revenues have grown from 12.8 million euros in 2015 to 13.1 million euros in 2016 and 14.1 million euros in 2017. The goal is to break even and to reach a consolidated turnover of around 30 million euros in 2022.
Benabadji is seen as ensuring continuity in the development of Richard Ginori, having flanked Giunchedi since last September.