Byline: Sara Gay Forden

MILAN — Gucci Group NV said Thursday it has promoted Brian Blake, 41, to executive vice president, effective June 1.
Blake is currently president and chief executive officer of Gucci America, a post he has held since November 1994.
“The results of Gucci America under his leadership have been spectacular,” said Gucci ceo Domenico De Sole in a telephone interview. “He’s thoughtful, intelligent and highly analytical”
De Sole added he was “truly delighted” that Blake had accepted the post, which will move him from New York to Gucci’s headquarters in Florence.
The company added in a statement that Blake’s promotion reflects the corporate strategy of rewarding and giving more responsibility to people who have performed outstandingly for the company.
In this new post, Blake will be responsible for all retail operations — including company-owned stores, franchises and duty-free — and will also coordinate wholesale accounts.
Gucci also said that Blake will be succeeded at Gucci America by Patricia Malone, 43, currently vice chairman and general merchandising director of Gucci America. Until last spring, Malone was based in Florence as world-wide merchandising director for Gucci Group. Her position at Gucci America has not yet been filled, Gucci said.
Blake started at Gucci in 1981 and over the years handled a variety of positions in sales, merchandising and store management.