Balmain appoints Massimo Piombini as new CEO
Balmain has appointed Massimo Piombini to be its new CEO, changing chief executive nine months after the French house was acquired by a Mayhoola for Investments, an investment vehicle controlled by the Qatari royal family.
Piombini joins Balmain from Valentino – a sister company also owned by Mayhoola, which bought Balmain for a reported 500 million euros in June 2016. He replaces Emmanuel Diemoz, who leaves “the company after several years of exemplary leadership,” the house said in a press release. Piombini was already a member of the board of directors of Balmain International. He leaves a position as Worldwide Commercial Director of Valentino, held since since 2008.
“I am excited by this opportunity to form a part of the Balmain team, as the brand develops into a global leader in the luxury goods market,” said Piombini. “Olivier Rousteing, Balmain’s Creative Director, has instilled a remarkable passion inside the house, overseeing the creation of a singular, recognizable spirit and silhouette, while always remaining focused on the mission of responding to the needs and desires of a new and diverse generation. I look forward to working closely with him and the rest of the Balmain family, helping to coherently build upon that vision and fully realize the house’s significant potential for impressive future growth.”
Observers expect Piombini to drive growth in accessories, where Balmain has never been an important player, despite the critical acclaim garnered by Rousteing.
In July 2012, Mayhoola paid 700 million euros to buy Valentino, a whopping 31.5 times EBITDA and some three-and-half times the annual sales. However, after massive capital investment of 100 million euros annually, Valentino has broken through the one-billion-euro barrier in annual revenues, led by its highly respected CEO Stefano Sassi, Piombini’s former boss.