PARIS — They may have missed their targeted Nov. 1 deadline to conclude employment negotiations with Gucci Group, but Tom Ford and Domenico De Sole could let the outcome of their contract talks with Pinault-Printemps-Redoute be known to their employees as early as today, according to sources in Milan, Paris and London.
Speculation reached a frenzy at press time Monday about the possible announcement, but the fate of De Sole, Gucci Group president and chief executive, and Ford, creative director, could not immediately be learned.
As reported, discussions have been tense over the prickly issue of corporate governance, with Ford and De Sole reluctant to relinquish control to PPR, which owns 67.6 percent of Gucci and must launch a bid for all outstanding Gucci shares next year.
In the latest scenario making the rounds, Paris investment firm Julius Baer Brokerage on Monday issued a report declaring Ford would leave and De Sole would stay, citing the French business bulletin, Expansion, as its source. Of course, this follows a wave of rumors, including those citing that both Ford and De Sole would stay, they’d both leave, Ford would stay but De Sole would leave, Ford would stay at Gucci Group but would give up designing Yves Saint Laurent, or that they’d leave and take over Versace (which is the only one to have been denied).
Spokesmen for PPR and Gucci Group declined all comment on negotiations and declined to give any timetable to announce the outcome of the talks.