MILAN — The Salvatore Ferragamo Group is bulking up its management team.
Daniella Vitale will join the company as chief executive officer North America effective Oct. 18, while Vincenzo Equestre took on the position of CEO Europe, Middle East and Africa on Oct. 7.
This marks a return to Ferragamo for Vitale, who began her career at the Florence-based company in merchandising. She then moved to Gucci to cover the position of CEO America. In 2010, she joined Barneys New York, rising to the CEO position, exiting in November 2019 when the company was sold to Authentic Brands Group. She then became chief brand officer and executive vice president of Tiffany & Co. She left this post after a short transition period this year in the wake of LVMH’s acquisition of the storied American jewelry brand.
Vitale succeeds Donald Kohler, who joined Ferragamo as CEO of the Americas region and chief retail officer in 2017, and left in April this year.
Equestre also hails from the luxury sector, and Ferragamo will rely on his experience working at L’Oréal and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. At the latter, his roles included: general manager for Italy, Spain, Portugal and Morocco of Louis Vuitton; general manager for Europe at Christian Dior Couture, and international vice president of Chaumet. Equestre succeeds Corinne Ortega, who left her post last month.
Vitale and Equestre report to executive vice chairman Michele Norsa, who was granted all powers of ordinary administration in the transition period after the exit of CEO Micaela le Divelec Lemmi on Sept. 8 and the arrival of Marco Gobbetti. Burberry’s current CEO is expected to join Ferragamo some time next year.
During a call with analysts discussing first-half results last month, Norsa had pointed to the new organization and the arrival of the new regional CEOs without disclosing the names.
Vitale’s appointment comes as America is increasingly a key market for Ferragamo, showing strong signs of recovery after the pandemic. In the six months ended June 30, sales in North America were up 103 percent to 137 million euros, accounting for 26.2 percent of the total. Norsa at the time touted the “very strong and positive performance, with a wide distribution not only in main capitals, having recently opened stores in Aventura Mall in Florida, in California and Texas.” In the second quarter, revenues more than quintupled compared with the second quarter last year.
In the first half, Ferragamo returned to profit, posting earnings, including a minority interest, of 33 million euros. This compares with a loss of 86 million euros in the same period last year. Revenues climbed 44.2 percent to 524 million euros, compared with 363 million euros in the same period last year, despite the ongoing restrictions on international travel and lockdowns in some countries due to the pandemic. Sales in the second quarter of 2021 rose 91.3 percent.