In a statement, on Monday, British luxe brand Burberry announced that its CEO Marco Gobbetti will be stepping down from his position at the company by the end of the year. He will be returning to Italy and to a new job. He will head another luxury brand, Salvatore Ferragamo, which is a rival. Burberry shares fell by nearly eight percent in London, after the announcement.
Burberry said that Marco who had led the transformation of the Burberry brand and business would be leaving the company after almost five years. It also said that he was leaving the company to enable him to return to Italy so that he could be closer to his family and that he would be taking up another opportunity.
Gobbetti had joined Burberry after gaining thirteen years of luxury good handling experience at the French luxury good seller LVMH. He was credited with firmly positioning Burberry in the luxury goods market. After his almost five-year stint at the British company, the stock had seen a gain of 35 percent from July 2017, when he joined the company to Friday, June 25, 2021.
Thomas Burberry’s founder established the brand in 1856 in Basingstoke, England. Burberry believed that clothes should protect British citizens from the harsh weather that swept through the nation. In 1879 he invented gabardine a breathable, weatherproof fabric that was hardy yet comfortable to wear. He patented the fabric in 1888.
Burberry’s hardy fabric made it a must have piece of clothing for arctic explorers, hot air balloon pioneers and other explorers and adventure seekers. It became synonymous for its trench coats and signature beige checks and the 165-year-old brand is one of the most recognized British brands outside the U.K. and is a highly exported brand.
Gobbetti improved the brand value in his tenure and renewed its appeal by focusing on younger and diverse clientele. He hired artistic director Riccardo Tisci in 2018 to be its chief creative officer. He has set Burberry into a path of growth with leather goods. Analysts believe the brand is a “work in progress” as it competes with other luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada.