by Stephen Garner
Christopher Bailey
Christopher Bailey

British luxury brand Burberry has announced new leadership roles for its senior team as part of the ongoing business review that is targeting future growth opportunities in retail, product and digital enabled by changes to ways of working. Christopher Bailey will take on the new role of president and chief creative officer overseeing all elements of brand and design working in partnership with the new chief executive on company strategy and culture.

Marco Gobbetti has been appointed CEO and will be responsible for all commercial, operational and financial elements of the business. He will join the board upon arrival from a date in 2017 as soon as he is contractually able to do so. Bailey will transition to his new role at that time and will remain on the board. Both Gobbetti and Bailey will report directly to the chairman Sir John Peace.

Gobbetti is currently chairman and CEO of French luxury brand, Celine. With more than 20 years’ experience in the luxury industry he has a proven track record for growing and developing brands including Givenchy, Moschino and Bottega Veneta. Most recently, at Celine, his retail and customer focused strategies have delivered exceptional growth for the brand over the last 8 years.

Burberry also announced that Julie Brown has been appointed to the new role of chief operating and financial officer. She will join the business and the board in early 2017 at the latest and will have responsibility for finance, investor relations, IT, global business services and business transformation. She is currently CFO at the global medical technology business Smith and Nephew plc.

Burberry’s F/W 16 collection

“I am very excited that Marco Gobbetti is joining us as chief executive officer and as a partner to me,” said Bailey. “Marco brings incredible experience and skills in luxury and retail with him that will be invaluable to us. I am delighted to welcome Marco and I am looking forward to working closely with him alongside the rest of our highly talented teams. On a personal level, I know that we are going to enjoy a wonderfully collaborative partnership that makes me very excited for our future at Burberry.”

“I am delighted that Marco will be joining us to work alongside Christopher in his new role as we embark upon the next chapter in our 160-year-old success story,” said Sir Peace. “He has an outstanding track record of delivering growth in the luxury industry and his vision for the sector and how it will evolve is extremely impressive. The Board firmly believes that these new leadership roles coupled with actions, identified in the recent business review, will significantly enhance our ability to deliver long-term sustainable growth and sector outperformance over time.

Sir Peace added: “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. The review that he has led into our ways of working is the blueprint for the next phase of Burberry’s evolution. In order to maximize our ability to successfully implement these plans, Christopher identified the need for a new chief executive for the business who could partner with him as we execute on the new strategies and I am excited to see what they will do together.”