CEO Robert Polet leaves GUCCI GROUP and owner Francois Pinault takes over

Francois Pinault, owner and CEO of PPR which owns Gucci Group has embarked on a major restructuring campaign which targets key decision makers within the less performing brands. The shake up set out with the departure of the YSL CEO Valerie Hermann (replaced by Paul Deneve from Lanvin) followed by the Group’s CEO Robert Polet who leaves the company from March 1st when owner Francois Pinault will take over as group CEO. Robert Polet joined Gucci Group the in 2004 coming from a senior position within Unilever’s icecream division.

Under his tenure, the group’s fashion brands, Stella Mc Cartney, Alexander Mc Queen and Yves Saint Laurent continued to underperform in comparison with flagship brand Gucci . However, Gucci has not made up for the huge gap to reach its direct rival Louis Vuitton. Of all the group brands, BOTTEGA VENETA has been the star performer, almost doubling its sales volume and retail presence worldwide, under the direction of Tomas Maier.

In a statement to media, Francois Pinault announced that PPR posted a net income increase of 56 per cent for 2010. He credited the increase on a "stellar" last quarter, with sales up 39.9 % at Bottega Veneta; 23.3 % Gucci; and 24%at Yves Saint Laurent.