Versace names new CEO
Versace has named Jonathan Akeroyd as its new chief executive officer.
The businessman takes over the position from Gian Giacomo Ferraris, who joined the brand in 2009. Akeroyd was previously CEO of Alexander McQueen from 2004 until earlier this month (May16), and is expected to step into his new role in June (16), WWD reports.
Donatella Versace, vice president and artistic director, is delighted to welcome him to her company and has high hopes for Akeroyd, telling WWD: "(He) brings a proven track record in building global brands, steering growth and driving strategic development. Jonathan Akeroyd’s industry expertise and vision will be key to advancing the next phase of Versace’s development.”
In return, the new CEO is "honoured" to be joining a "dynamic and innovative" brand like Versace, which he believes is "iconic" and recognised globally as a "luxury" label.
"I look forward to implementing a long-term business strategy that supports the visionary and creative direction of Donatella Versace and her team,” he added.
Donatella also thanked Ferraris for all his hard work over the years and for turning Versace into one of the world's leading luxury brands. Thanks to this, she feels proud that her company is able to attract such "visionary leaders" like Akeroyd.
The platinum blonde fashionista has been artistic direction of Versace since 1997, 21 years after it was founded, and has played a big part in developing its fashion and lifestyle products, such as ready-to-wear, jewellery and furniture. There are now more than 180 Versace stores worldwide, and its popularity is only growing.
In 2014 private equity firm The Blackstone Group bought a 20 per cent stake in the Italian brand, adding to speculation that Versace is contemplating an initial public offering in the future.