Cedric Wilmotte has been appointed chief executive officer of Michael Kors, effective April 3.
Most recently Wilmotte was interim CEO of Versace from last January through September 2022 and is currently Versace’s chief operating officer. Earlier, Wilmotte led the Michael Kors EMEA business from its inception in 2008 through 2021.
During his tenure as president of Michael Kors EMEA, Wilmotte was responsible for the brand’s growth in the region. Earlier in his career, Wilmotte held senior leadership posts at Marc Jacobs in Paris from 2004 to 2008 and at Donna Karan in New York, London and Milan from 1998 to 2004.
Last March, John Idol, CEO of Capri Holdings, parent to Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo, said he would stay on as group CEO, while his chosen successor, Joshua Schulman, said he would leave the company. Schulman had been named brand CEO of Michael Kors in August 2021, a post he was meant to hold for just over a year before taking over the corner office at the group level in September 2022. Idol also assumed the Kors CEO role after Schulman’s departure.
“I am thrilled to welcome Cedric back to the Michael Kors team as our new chief executive officer. Cedric is a strong leader with extensive retail and merchandising experience and has a deep understanding of the Michael Kors brand and consumer,” said Idol.
“Cedric has proven himself to be a versatile leader within our group, having achieved great success at both Michael Kors and Versace. The board, Michael and I are confident that the Michael Kors brand will benefit tremendously from Cedric’s leadership, which will help to further accelerate our strategic initiatives. Cedric’s appointment ensures that we have three experienced and talented CEOs at each of our luxury fashion brands,” Idol added.
Versace is headed by Emmanuel Gintzburger as CEO, and Jimmy Choo’s CEO is Hannah Colman.
Michael Kors, chief creative officer, said, “Cedric shares in my vision for the brand and I am excited to welcome him back to Michael Kors. I look forward to working with him again as we continue to grow our company globally.”
Wilmotte added, “I am excited to lead the Michael Kors brand as chief executive officer. Having been a part of the Michael Kors family for almost 15 years, I have a special and personal connection to our brand, our employees and our customers. I look forward to partnering with Michael, the strong leadership team and all of our valued employees around the world to execute on our strategic vision and drive future growth.”
As reported, for the second quarter ended Oct. 1, 2022, Michael Kors’ revenues rose 9.2 percent to $962 million. Its operating income was $248 million and operating margin was 25.8 percent, compared to $220 million and 25 percent in the prior year. Capri cut roughly $100 million out of its projection for wholesale revenues, a change driven by the Michael Kors brand. In a call at the time, Idol said he wasn’t going to give up the ground gained as the brand moved to a more elevated positioning. “We’ve worked very hard over the last three years to elevate the Michael Kors brand, and we don’t want to take a step backward,” Idol told analysts in November.
Wilmotte will remain in his chief operating role at Versace until March 31. His successor hasn’t been named yet.