Kering appoints Cedric Charbit as new CEO of Balenciaga

Cedric Charbit, head of merchandising at Yves Saint Laurent, is replacing Isabelle Guichot as the chief executive of Balenciaga, Kering, the parent of the two brands, said on Monday.

Charbit has been hired to infuse new life at Balenciaga which has been struggling to match the success of rival sister brands Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, producing low-single digit sales growth this year, an industry source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Balenciaga, which makes just under 400 million euros ($435 million) in estimated annual sales, had not had a best-selling handbag since the Arena under designer Nicolas Ghesquiere a decade ago.

Charbit, who has been credited with contributing to making Yves Saint Laurent the most successful brand within the Kering group, will work to turn the collections of Balenciaga’s new designer Demna Gvasalia into commercially desirable products.

Balenciaga, once Kering’s rising star, has been overshadowed by the success of Gucci, which has been growing in double-digit terms this year, and Stella McCartney, which is also one of the group’s fastest growing fashion brands, the source added.

Guichot had been nine years at the helm of Balenciaga and is expected to stay at Kering, the group said.

Cedric Charbit, CEO Balenciaga