The revolution at Burberry’s has its roots in the tanning industry: Gobbetti, the new CEO, is the son of a tanner

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Burberry has a new CEO: Marco Gobbetti, the president and managing Director of Cèline since 2008, will take over the reins at the British company in 2017. He is the son of the owner of Brusarosco (now a division of the Rino Mastrotto Group), Sirio Gobbetti; Brusarosco is the oldest tanning company in Italy still in operation (it was founded in 1834), and specializes in producing leather interiors for top of the range cars and for the shipping and aerospace sectors. Sirio Gobbetti has been a director of the Italian Tanning Industry Union (UNIC – known as Assoconcia until 1972) since 1948. Meanwhile Christopher Bailey, who has been the brand’s economic and style director since the autumn of 2013, can now “take a step back”: he will remain artistic director and will become president, but he will no longer be responsible for the financial management. With the management sorted out, all that remains for the British brand is to get its accounts in order. The only positive news comes from the London Stock Exchange, where the company’s shares have leapt by 6.3%. The British group’s results from the second quarter of 2016 are not positive, however. Sales (423 million GBP) remained even on an annual basis, but fell by 3% after taking into account the perimeter of consolidation. Burberry calculates that wholesale sales in the third quarter will decline by 10%, while the Brexit effect appears to be two-sided. On one hand it is reassuring: about 90% of Burberry’s sales are derived from foreign markets, so sales may improve as a result of the depreciation in the pound. On the other hand, Brexit forces caution: the 50 million pound investment in a fabric manufacturing site in Leeds (based on initial plans to become operational from 2019 onwards) has temporarily been put on hold. “We are awaiting developments in the situation following the June 23 referendum,” the company directors commented.

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