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Burberry appoints luxury goods expert Jonathan Akeroyd from Versace as CEO

·2-min read

Luxury fashion firm Burberry has appointed Jonathan Akeroyd, currently at Versace, as its chief executive with effect from April next year.

The 54-year-old will replace Marco Gobbetti, who announced in June he was stepping down at the end of the year. The latter is leaving to head up luxury goods group Salvatore Ferragamo, an opportunity that will enable him to return to Italy and be closer to his family.

Akeroyd has been boss of Milan-based Gianni Versace since 2016. The label was sold to US group Capri, behind Michael Kors, in 2018. Prior to that Akeroyd led Alexander McQueen for more than a decade, overseeing a turnaround there.

He has also held senior roles at Harrords.

The new chief executive will get around £6 million in deferred cash and share awards in lieu of the awards he has forfeited on leaving Versace. On top of that Akeroyd gets a salary of £1.1 million per year, as well as other bonus opportunities.

Jonathan Akeroyd is to join Burberry as CEO (Burberry)
Jonathan Akeroyd is to join Burberry as CEO (Burberry)

Akeroyd said: " I am looking forward to returning to London where I first built my career in the luxury industry to join a talented team with ambitious plans for the future and a strong platform to accelerate growth."

Burberry chairman Gerry Murphy said: “Jonathan is an experienced leader with a strong track record in building global luxury fashion brands and driving profitable growth. He shares our values and our ambition to build on Burberry's unique British creative heritage and his deep luxury and fashion industry expertise will be key to advancing the next phase of Burberry's evolution."

 (Tom D Morgan for Burberry)
(Tom D Morgan for Burberry)

Murphy will chair the executive Committee from this the end of the year, when Gobbetti leaves, until Akeroyd joins the company.

Luca Solca, luxury goods analyst at Bernstein, said: “Jonathan’s experience seems relevant, as Burberry’s position in the market is somewhere in between the high-end European luxury brands and the more commercially focused American accessible luxury brands.”

Shares in Burberry edged up 3p to 1833p following the hire news.

Gobbetti joined Burberry as boss in 2017. Under his helm the brand moved more upmarket to up the fight with rivals. That included more expensive products, and bringing in creative chief Riccardo Tisci, previously at Givenchy.

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