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Succession Season at Gucci

Francesca Bellettini has been elevated from Saint Laurent C.E.O. to Kering’s deputy C.E.O., with all the brand C.E.O.s reporting to her.
Francesca Bellettini has been elevated from Saint Laurent C.E.O. to Kering’s deputy C.E.O., with all the brand C.E.O.s reporting to her. Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images
Lauren Sherman
July 20, 2023

So, what’s up with the Kering management switcharoo, including the exit of longtime Gucci C.E.O. and company man Marco Bizzarri; the elevation of Saint Laurent C.E.O. Francesca Bellettini to deputy C.E.O., with all the brand C.E.O.s—including for Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, and yes, Gucci—reporting to her; and Jean-François Palus acting as interim C.E.O. of Gucci? After talking to some people on the inside and out, the clearest answer is that this probably isn’t exactly how Kering C.E.O. (and CAA’s number-one fan) François-Henri Pinault envisioned the next phase of his growing luxury empire. The much-discussed trouble at Balenciaga last year, combined with the challenges at Gucci resulting in the departure of Alessandro Michele, will be further elucidated in the company’s first-half results, released next Thursday, and it’s likely that Pinault and his team thought it wise to make this announcement beforehand. (Indeed, shares were up after the release went out.)