Luxottica’s new CEO quits after 6 weeks

– Company announced complex managent structure
– Still looking for second co-CEO
– Tensions are brewing: sources
The newly-promoted co-chief executive officer of Italy’s Luxottica Group SpA, Mr Enrico Cavatorta, has quit the company just six weeks after his longstanding predecessor, Mr Andrea Guerra, did the same.
Both CEOs are understood to have resigned due to rifts with the chairman and controlling shareholder (61% shareholding), Mr Leonardo Del Vecchio, who has returned to the company to play a key role at the group he founded in 1961, after taking a backseat for a decade.
After a successful 10-year tenure, Mr Guerra stepped down on 1 Septber due to rifts with Mr Del Vecchio.
At the time of Mr Guerra leaving the company, Mr Cavatorta, then its chief financial officer, was promoted to replace Mr Guerra as CEO and was to be flanked by a co-chief executive officer that Luxottica has yet to recruit.
In a complex governance structure that has drawn criticism from some analysts, a third top executive has been put in charge of production and reports directly to 79-year-old Mr Del Vecchio, who heads an executive committee meant to comprise the three top managers.
A little more than a month after those changes were announced, the dust has not settled at the company, with two of the proposed triumvirate no longer with the company – Messrs Guerra and Cavatorta.
Italy’s top financial daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, said on 10 October that Mr Cavatorta could resign after cashing in euro 22 million ($A32 million) from the sale of Luxottica shares to Mr Del Vecchio. That turned out to be the case.
Mr Del Vecchio has become a near-daily presence at Luxottica’s brand-new headquarters in the centre of Milan after 10 years in which he would only be seen mostly at board meetings, sources have said.
“As he oversees products Mr. Del Vecchio has a say over everything,” an analyst is reported as saying, asking not to be named as the matter is sensitive. “And it is well known he is not an easy person to get on with.”
Mr Del Vecchio said in a newspaper interview in Septber that he had clashed with Mr Guerra as he (Mr Guerra) had opposed his plans to take a more active role in the company to prepare for a handover to his sons.
Until now Del Vecchio had always prided himself in keeping his family out of his business. One of his children, Claudio, has been a director of the company, but was recently stood down from that position.

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