Patrick Valeo has been appointed chief executive officer of Diesel North America, effective immediately.
He succeeds Stefano Rosso, who will continue to be part of the board of OTB, the parent company of Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Victor & Rolf, Amiri, Staff International and Brave Kid.
Valeo will report to Massimo Piombini, global ceo of Diesel.
Most recently, Valeo was president of the Americas and global head of commercial sales at MCM. Earlier, he was president and chief operating officer of SMCP, vice president, retail at Dolce & Gabbana and vice president of retail at Gucci Americas.
Known as a personable and aggressive executive, Valeo is charged with leading Diesel North America, which was reorganized, focusing on consistent growth. He was unavailable for comment Tuesday. During his tenure at MCM, Valeo helped drive the brand’s growth in the U.S. market, establishing it as a key accessories vendor at stores including Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
Diesel represents 60 percent of OTB’s business and returned to growth in 2019, posting a 2.6 percent sales increase, as reported. The brand has been going through a reorganization and streamlining and repositioning its retail and wholesale channels. Last year Diesel opened 45 stores with a new interior design concept, relocating existing stores and closing nonstrategic venues. The direct e-commerce channel was up 24.3 percent.
The Chapter 11 filing of Diesel U.S. in March 2019 is “a closed chapter,” said ceo Ubaldo Minelli, when releasing year-end figures. “We have restarted in the U.S., it was a difficult decision but it was brief, we paid all our suppliers and we exited those five or six contracts that landlords did not want to renegotiate and whose costs were no longer sustainable. It was a selective Chapter 11,” he added. “We are in a second phase in the U.S., with plans to invest and develop that market.”
Poor decisions by earlier leadership, landlords unwilling to negotiate leases and even cyber fraud had added to the mounting losses in Diesel U.S. prior to bankruptcy.
Former Balmain ceo Piombini joined Diesel in Jan. 27.