Personnel Updates | Gucci Confirms CEO, HOKA Names Female Head, Lacoste Appoints Finance VP

2月 19, 2024


Following the annual performance announcement on February 8th, French luxury giant Kering Group restructured and clarified its management structure. To revitalize its flagship brand Gucci, Kering Group officially appointed Jean-François Palus, the current interim CEO of Gucci, as the CEO of Gucci, and further clarified the specific responsibilities of Francesca Bellettini, who was promoted to Deputy CEO of Kering Group in July last year.

Last summer, Jean-François Palus, then the Managing Director of Kering Group, was urgently appointed to replace Marco Bizzarri, who had been the CEO of Gucci since 2015. Since taking office, his strong leadership and ability to build a lean team have earned him the trust of Kering Group’s senior management.

François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering Group, stated, “We are very pleased with Gucci’s performance in the first few months of the new fiscal year. Jean-François is leading Gucci’s restructuring, team building, and the development of priorities and roadmaps for the coming months and years, and he is doing an excellent job.”

Francesca Bellettini, the current CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, also serves as the Deputy CEO of Kering Group while retaining her original position. Her responsibilities include overseeing the development of Kering Group’s brands and working closely with Jean-François Palus to build a strong management team for Gucci. Francesca Bellettini stated, “After appointing Massimo Vian as the Director of Industrial Operations and Supply Chain on January 15th, this strategy has begun to be implemented… We will build a high-quality team with Jean-François, and we will welcome more talent in the coming months.”

As of December 31, 2023, Kering Group’s revenue for the fiscal year 2023 decreased by 4% to 19.6 billion euros, with a comparable basis decrease of 2%. Among them, Gucci’s sales accounted for half of Kering Group’s total sales, and its profits accounted for two-thirds of the group’s total profits. Compared to the disappointing performance in the previous quarter (a 14% decrease on a reported basis and a 7% decrease on a comparable basis), Gucci’s performance trended towards stability in the fourth quarter. Currently, Gucci is advancing into the ultra-high-end sector, attracting more high-end customers, limiting product supply, and strengthening its leather goods series under the leadership of the new Creative Director Sabato de Sarno, shifting towards a new fashion aesthetic.

In addition to Gucci, Kering Group is also committed to revitalizing Balenciaga and other brands, integrating the luxury perfume brand Creed acquired last year, and managing its minority stake in Valentino. Francesca Bellettini, who holds two positions, stated: “I am not the CEO of other brands, but I work with the CEOs and teams of other brands. My responsibility is to implement our strategies together with them and Kering Group’s functional departments… Holding a dual role allows me to stay grounded when facing the same challenges and issues as the CEOs of various brands. At the same time, it enables me and everyone else to better identify opportunities and trends, especially specific opportunities and trends for a particular brand, rather than the industry as a whole.”

HOKA/Deckers Brands

On February 12th, Deckers Brands (NYSE: DECK), the American footwear group owning brands such as UGG and HOKA, announced the appointment of Robin Green as the next president of its running brand HOKA, effective immediately. Robin Green will serve on the executive leadership team, reporting directly to Dave Powers, CEO and President of Deckers Brands.

Robin Green has extensive experience in leading and operating complex global businesses and has led brands to transformative results and development. Her most recent position was as the Global Vice President of Men’s Running and Fitness Business at NIKE, Inc. In her new role, Robin Green’s focus is on leading the continuous growth of the HOKA brand, further expanding connections with consumers and athletes, and accelerating product innovation in the dynamic global market.

Dave Powers stated, “HOKA is in its strongest phase ever, and I am confident that we can continue to maintain positive momentum under Robin’s leadership. We will work together to continue expanding consumer awareness of HOKA, maximize our product supply and accessibility, and surpass the extraordinary revenue milestones we set last year.” Robin Green expressed her honor at the appointment and stated that she will leverage the growing global consumer demand and brand loyalty, based on HOKA’s commitment to excellent product innovation, to further optimize market management and performance growth.


Recently, French sportswear brand Lacoste announced the appointment of Philippe Gautier as Executive Vice President of Finance, overseeing the finance department. Philippe Gautier’s predecessor was Denis Lamoureux, who had been working in the group since 2008 and had held the position since 2017.

Philippe Gautier has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector, most of which was spent working for fashion and luxury groups such as SMCP and Kering Group. His most recent position was as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the beauty and health website Waldencast. In his new position, Gautier’s main task is to enhance the international standing of the Lacoste brand. In the fiscal year 2022, Lacoste reported a revenue of 2.5 billion euros.

Thierry Guibert, CEO of Lacoste and its parent company MF Brands Group, stated, “Lacoste will be able to rely on Philippe Gautier’s deep understanding of the fashion and lifestyle sectors, his extensive international experience, and his mature skills in implementing major projects (further development), especially in the supply chain and IT areas.”

Philippe Gautier’s career began in the banking industry before joining international groups such as Peugeot and Schneider Electric. In 2003, he joined PPR (the predecessor of Kering Group) and worked there for over six years, participating in the modernization of the group’s fashion mail order catalog company Redcats. In 2009, he joined Puma, responsible for the financial and operational work of the company’s U.S. headquarters in Boston, including overseeing the acquisition of Cobra Golf and developing a new e-commerce platform. In 2014, Philippe Gautier returned to Europe to become the Chief Financial Officer of the Milan luxury footwear brand Sergio Rossi, which was then under Kering Group. At that time, Kering Group planned to sell the brand and assigned Philippe Gautier to oversee the process.

In 2015, after overseeing the sale of Sergio Rossi, Philippe Gautier joined the French affordable luxury group SMCP, which owned brands such as Sandro, Maje, and Claudie Pierlot, and worked with the American private equity investment group KKR. During this time, Philippe Gautier participated in SMCP’s IPO in 2017 and the subsequent acquisition of the De Fursac brand. During his five and a half years at SMCP, Philippe Gautier helped the group significantly expand its international footprint, especially in key markets such as the United States and China.

In November 2020, Philippe Gautier joined the struggling coffee service provider Selecta as Chief Financial Officer. Selecta is responsible for distributing Lavazza and Starbucks in Europe. Starting from October 2022, Philippe Gautier began serving as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Waldencast.

| Source: Brand/Group official websites, executives’ official LinkedIn, Fashion Network, BNN, Apparel Resources

| Photo Credit: Brand/Group official websites, executives’ official LinkedIn

| Editor: LeZhi