Investors welcome Burberry’s corporate shake-up

Remember those images of the Burberry check being worn head-to-toe by those
whom Burberry would rather you forget about?

The company has fought long and hard to keep its check the epitome of chic,
and creative director Christopher Bailey has played a key role in
transforming the brand from a staid British label to a leading luxury
heritage brand.

While creatively Bailey has triumphed, it is fair to say he has stumbled
taking on a dual role, also acting as the company’s chief operating
officer. There are those who say it is nigh on impossible to both design
and steer a ship simultaneously. If we look at the figures, since Bailey’s
appointment as CEO in May 2014, shares in Burberry have dropped 22 percent.

Perhaps that is why Burberry’s investors breathed a sigh of relief at the
news that the British fashion company is to shake up its corporate
structure and strengthen its operations with the .

Gobbetti, who joined from Celine, has over 30 years experience in the
industry having also worked for luxury groups such as Bottega Veneta and
Givenchy. He is expected to implement a cost-cutting programme, identify
and reduce operational challenges and improve the way Burberry presents its
product in stores. Mr Bailey in turn is expected to put a renewed focus on
the creative side, making certain all of Burberry’s product are the best
they can be.

Bailey denied handing over the company’s reigns

Mr Bailey denied he was handing over the reigns to a new chief, and will
retain his old title as well as that of Burberry’s President, a newly
created role. Bailey told the Financial Times: “We are both the boss. We
both go into the chairman of the board. We are true equal partners.”

The Wall Street Journal noted the changes are the most dramatic at Burberry
since longtime CEO Angela Ahrendts said on October 15, 2013 that she was
leaving the fashion house to become Apple Inc.’s retail chief, sending
shares down 7.6 percent that day. By contrast, on Monday, Burberry’s shares
jumped 4.2 percent to close at 12.11 pounds, reflecting the mounting
investor disquiet that has surrounded the 45-year-old Mr. Bailey’s
two-pronged role.

Photo:Christopher Bailey on set, Burberry Facebook

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