Burberry names new CEO as Christopher Bailey steps back to focus on design

Christopher Bailey

British luxury brand Burberry has named Marco Gobbetti as its new chief executive, in a move that will see current chief Christopher Bailey appointed to the role of president and chief creative officer.

Bailey’s dual role of chief executive/chief creative of the brand has been under scrutiny since he took up the position in 2014, with analysts and investors questioning whether Bailey was overstretched, given that the brand's profits have been tumbling over the last 12 months and its share price plummeted by 35 per cent in the last year.

In his new role Bailey will oversee all elements of brand and design and will work with Gobbetti on company strategy and culture. Gobbetti, the current chairman and chief executive of French luxury brand Céline, will take on responsibility for all commercial, operational and financial elements of the business.

The leadership shakeup has also seen chief financial officer Carol Fairweather step down from the company to be replaced by Julie Brown, who currently heads up finance at global medical technology business Smith and Nephew.

In a statement to investors Burberry said the changes are “part of the ongoing business review that is targeting future growth opportunities in retail, product and digital enabled by changes to ways of working”.

Last month it was announced that Bailey would take a 75 per cent cut to his pay package.

Burberry chairman Sir John Peace said that Bailey had “identified the need for a new chief executive for the business who could partner with him as we execute on the new strategies and I am excited to see what they will do together."

Shares in Burberry sky rocketed as the news of the leadership changes came through.

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