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Kering appoints first-ever deputy CEO for Gucci

Kering has appointed Stefano Cantino, to the newly created role of deputy CEO at its Gucci brand, in a bid to reignite growth at the Italian luxury marque.

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Cantino will report to Jean-François Palus, who was appointed Gucci CEO last autumn.

A luxury veteran, Cantino joins Kering from LVMH, where he worked in communications at the luxury firm’s Louis Vuitton brand. Prior to that, Cantino was stationed in various roles at Prada, where he served in communications and then chief executive for the French market.

“Stefano Cantino will take up his new position on May 2, 2024, reporting directly to Jean-François Palus. In this newly created position, he will share responsibility with Jean-François Palus for defining and implementing brand strategy,” the French luxury group said in a statement.

The appointment follows a leadership reshuffling in recent months at Kering and Gucci, including creative director Sabato de Sarno, CEO Jean-François Palus, and Kering deputy CEO Francesca Bellettini, as the house homes in a on more high-end and classic image to counter slowing sales.

“Stefano Cantino’s appointment as deputy CEO of Gucci is a further step in strengthening the iconic Florentine house. His extensive experience in strategic roles within leading companies in the luxury sector is a valuable addition to Jean-François’ strong leadership and Sabato’s creative strength,” added Bellettini.

Last year, Kering, the owner of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga brands, said annual revenues fell 4 percent to EUR 19.6 billion in 2023, following a fourth-quarter sales decline of 6 percent, or down 4 percent on a comparable basis.

In March, the luxury conglomerate issued an advisory ahead of the release of its first quarter 2024 revenue on April 23, projecting a decline in consolidated revenue for the first quarter of the year.