NEW YORK — Gucci America Inc.’s president Daniella Vitale is leaving the company effective May 26.

This story first appeared in the May 19, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Vitale joined the company in 1999 as vice president of wholesale, and was promoted to president in 2006. According to the company, Vitale has decided “to take time off before pursuing other interests.”

“I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for one of the truly international organizations in the luxury space, and to be part of a company which has been an incubator for talent, creativity and passion,” Vitale said. “I will be leaving Gucci, but not the many relationships I have formed both inside and outside the company. I am proud of what we have accomplished in the Americas, particularly during such turbulent times.”

Since assuming the president’s role, Vitale has been credited with significantly growing Gucci’s retail network in North and South America, while expanding Gucci’s philanthropic efforts, including partnerships with UNICEF, Tribeca Film Institute, The Film Foundation and Dia Art Foundation. She oversaw the opening of 21 stores, including the 46,000-square-foot flagship at Trump Tower here, as well as the development of e-commerce, and became a key proponent of corporate social responsibility programs at Gucci. In 2008, Vitale and a team of Gucci executives traveled to Malawi to see firsthand how company initiatives have benefited the African country.

Previously, her years in charge of Gucci’s wholesale for the Americas coincided with the Tom Ford era at the brand, and the American wholesale business increased by more than 54 percent between 2000 and 2004.

“In her time at Gucci, Daniella has helped to grow the Gucci brand in North and South America, and I want to thank her for her contributions to Gucci,” Gucci chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco said.

Prior to joining Gucci, Vitale was vice president of wholesale at Giorgio Armani Corp., and earlier, she served as merchandise manager for Salvatore Ferragamo.

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