Stefano Cantino portrait

Kering Names Stefano Cantino as Gucci Deputy CEO: Analyzing the Impact

The Strategy Unfolded: Cantino’s Appointment Highlights Kering’s Vision for Gucci’s Reboot

In a strategic move by Kering, Stefano Cantino has been appointed the new deputy CEO of Gucci, stepping into a role created to bolster the Italian fashion house’s leadership team as it seeks to navigate through a period of transformation. Starting on May 2, Cantino will report directly to Jean-François Palus, Gucci’s President and CEO. This announcement comes as part of Gucci’s ongoing efforts to reposition itself within the luxury market following a series of challenges that have impacted its performance.

Cantino transitions to Gucci from Louis Vuitton, where he served as SVP of communications and events since 2018, bringing with him a wealth of experience garnered over two decades at Prada Group, including his tenure as communication and marketing director. His arrival at Gucci aligns with the brand’s recent leadership overhaul, which saw Palus cemented as CEO after an interim term and the introduction of Sabato De Sarno as creative director, whose first collection has already begun making its way to stores.

Francesca Bellettini, Kering’s deputy CEO in charge of brand development, highlighted the significance of Cantino’s appointment, stating, “[Cantino’s] extensive experience in strategic roles in prominent companies in the luxury sector is a valuable addition to Jean-François’s strong leadership and Sabato’s creative strength. Together with them and the entire Gucci team, we will write a new and highly successful chapter in the history of our magnificent brand.”

This leadership adjustment occurs as Gucci faces a downturn in sales, attributed to diminished demand, which prompted Kering to project a 20% sales drop for Gucci in the first quarter of 2024. The forecast has had a notable impact on Kering’s stock value and has led analysts at HSBC to adjust their expectations for the brand’s performance. Despite these challenges, there is a cautious optimism that Gucci’s strategic initiatives under its refreshed leadership will eventually yield positive results.

Cantino expressed his eagerness to contribute to Gucci’s revival, remarking, “I am very proud to join Gucci, the house that owns the richest heritage in Italian luxury, as it begins a new chapter in its history. I look forward to contributing with full dedication to the definition and implementation of the strategy that Jean-François Palus has initiated, and I can’t wait to work with all the Gucci team toward success.”

In related news, Louis Vuitton announced the hiring of Blake Harrop as its new executive vice president of image and communications, a role that sees him joining from his position as president of advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy. Harrop’s extensive background in marketing and digital strategies is expected to further enrich Louis Vuitton’s brand image and communication efforts.