Burberry appoints Versace’s Jonathan Akeroyd as chief

Investing

Burberry has poached Jonathan Akeroyd from Milan-based Gianni Versace to take over from Marco Gobbetti as its chief executive.

Akeroyd, who has been chief executive at the Italian fashion house since June 2016, reorganised Gianni Versace, accelerating its growth during his five-year tenure. Before that he led Alexander McQueen for 12 years, leading a turnround at the British luxury brand and preparing it to expand globally.

Gobbetti will step down on December 31. Gerry Murphy will then chair the executive committee until Akeroyd joins Burberry and takes the helm on April 1, the company said on Wednesday.

Gobbetti said at the end of June he would leave Burberry to go to the smaller Italian brand Salvatore Ferragamo by the end of this year. Burberry has shed about 15 per cent of its value since he made the announcement as investors were concerned that the group would fail to complete its turnround.

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The group’s shares have barely moved over the year, with a 2.3 per cent gain.

“Jonathan is an experienced leader with a strong track record in building global luxury fashion brands and driving profitable growth,” said Murphy.

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