BURBERRY REPLACES CHRISTOPHER BAILEY WITH MARCO GOBBETTI AS CEO

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Christopher Bailey

Outgoing Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey

Burberry CEO and creative chief Christopher Bailey is being replaced by Marco Gobbetti as the incoming CEO, the British luxury brand best known for its distinctive plaid scarves, accessories and apparel announced today.

Bailey will remain chief creative officer and has accepted a new position on the business side as the president. He has served the dual executive and creative role, a controversial position frowned upon by investors, since 2014. During his tenure, shares of the company fell 22% and the company has continued to struggle financially for several quarters.

The announcement comes ahead of the first quarter sales report, due out on Wednesday, and a week before the annual shareholders meetings, set for next Thursday.

Gobbetti is coming from the French luxury apparel and accessory brand Celine, where he is currently chairman and CEO. He is set to start with Burberry in 2017 and will be responsible for all commercial, operational and financial elements of the business, according to a company announcement.

The two men will work together and answer directly to Burberry Chairman Sir John Peace, who said in a statement, “Since taking on the combined role of chief executive and chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey has done an excellent job set against a backdrop of challenging market conditions. I am delighted that Marco will be joining us to work alongside Christopher in his new role as we embark upon the next chapter of our 160-year-old success story.”

Also announced today is the appointment of Julie Brown as the new CFO and COO, as part of the company’s executive shifts. She is also set to start in 2017 and will be in charge of investor relations, IT, global business services and business transformation.

—Christine Galasso