Benetton chairman announces resignation following company’s financial losses

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Luciano Benetton speaks to guests after the Benetton women's Fall-Winter 2019-2020 collection, that was presented in Milan, Italy, on Feb.19, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)



“In a stunning announcement that sent shockwaves through the fashion world, Luciano Benetton, the co-founder of the iconic apparel brand, has revealed his decision to step down as chairman. This revelation came during an interview with the Milan daily Corriere della Sera, where Benetton cited staggering losses of 100 million euros (US$108.5 million) that were uncovered last year.

A Betrayal of Trust

Returning to the helm of the apparel brand as chairman in 2018, after a brief hiatus since 2012, Benetton expressed deep disappointment in the current management team that he feels is responsible for the substantial financial setbacks. He pointed fingers at a CEO appointed in 2020 and the rest of the management team for the mounting losses.

“In short, I trusted them, and I made a mistake,” lamented Benetton, who first became aware of the mounting losses in September of last year. The long-standing brand, based in the northern Veneto region, known for its vibrant knitwear and memorable advertising campaigns, has been grappling with fierce competition from fast-fashion giants. Trade unions estimate the group’s losses since 2013 to be around one billion euros, a staggering figure that underscores the challenges the brand has faced in recent years.

A Call for Renewal

As Benetton’s tenure draws to a close in June, the Benetton family holding company, Edizione SpA, is anticipated to appoint new leadership to chart the course for the iconic brand. Headed by Luciano Benetton’s son, Alessandro, Edizione boasts a diverse portfolio, including holdings in transport and infrastructure through Mundys, as well as interests in food and beverage retail, such as the renowned Autogrill chain under Dufy.

Reflecting on Past Controversies

The Benetton family holding company made headlines in recent years due to the sale of its stake in Autostrade per l’Italia SpA, following intense political scrutiny in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Genoa highway bridge in August 2018, which claimed the lives of 43 individuals.

In conclusion, Luciano Benetton’s impending departure as chairman marks a significant turning point for the beloved apparel brand. As the search for new leadership commences, the brand’s loyal fans and industry insiders alike await with bated breath to see what the future holds for this storied fashion house.”



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