Luxottica founder takes over as CEO

Italian eyewear maker Luxottica lost its third chief executive in 17 months on Friday as key shareholder and founder Leonardo Del Vecchio tightened his grip on the maker of Ray Ban sunglasses.

Chairman Del Vecchio, 80, will take on executive powers, the company said in a statement. He will inherit the responsibility for markets from Adil Mehboob-Khan, who had arrived at the helm of Luxottica from Procter & Gamble as co-CEO only a year ago to patch up a management crisis.

Del Vecchio owns 66.5 percent of Luxottica, a company he founded in 1961 and which has become the top eyewear maker in the world with revenues of 9 billion euros.

Mehboob-Khan, the outgoing co-CEO, said Del Vecchio reasonably expected to stay at the helm for only a few years, perhaps two or three. ”He is realistic: he is not expecting to be in charge with executive powers for a decade,” he said.

The company has been dogged by concerns over management stability over the past year and a half, even though its shares have risen 27 percent since the start of 2015 thanks to the boost from a strong dollar in its biggest North America market.

Luxottica reported on Friday a 17 percent rise in 2015 revenues to 9 billion euros ($9.7 billion) as a strong dollar lifted the value of sales in North America, its biggest market.

Luxottica headquarters