TAX OBLIGATIONS: Gucci and parent company Kering responded on Monday to reports of alleged tax evasion published by Mediapart, a French online investigative and opinion journal; Italy’s L’Espresso weekly, and the German weekly Der Spiegel. The article is based on “confidential documents” that allegedly show how Kering and its chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault “have set up a structure to remunerate” Marco Bizzarri, president and ceo of Gucci, “through an offshore company in Luxembourg and a fiscal residence in Switzerland.”
“Kering and Gucci have implemented a governance that aspires to ensure full compliance with tax regulations at all levels, including their employees,” said the companies in a statement. “As regards Mr. Bizzarri, he is fully compliant with his tax obligations in Italy, where he is tax resident.”
The report alleges that the offshore company and fiscal residence in Switzerland allowed Bizzarri to save some 15 million euros in taxes and three times as much in the case of Kering. The report traces such a tax break back to 2010. Bizzarri has headed Gucci since 2015, spearheading its case study turnaround with creative director Alessandro Michele. But he first joined Kering as president and ceo of Stella McCartney in 2005.
According to Mediapart, Bizzarri’s salary was set at eight million euros net, based on a letter dated 2014 between Jean-François Palus, managing director of Kering, to Bizzarri. The site also added that Kering in 2015 paid part of Bizzarri’s salary in Italy.