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Barbara Santamaria
Apr 4, 2019
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Thomas Meyer ousts several members from Desigual board

Translated by
Barbara Santamaria
Apr 4, 2019

Desigual is cutting all ties with Eurazeo. The Spanish brand, now fully owned by founder and CEO Thomas Meyer after he bought a 10% stake from Eurazeo in August last year, has embarked on a boardroom overhaul. Taking control of the board, he has ousted several board members, and appointed two new directors.

Desigual's headquarters are based in Barcelona - Desigual

The company, which confirmed the departure of creative director Jean-Paul Goude to FashionNetwork.com last month, continues its shake-up. Desigual appointed its first board of directors in 2014 after Eurazeo made a €285 million investment in the business for a 10% stake. Reflecting the recent changes, Thomas Meyer has appointed two new non-executive directors: Jorge Ramirez and Celso Gomariz Orozco, who currently serve as secretary and tax advisor of Desigual parent company Abasic.

“After Thomas Meyer bought back Eurazeo’s 10% stake, the company has made changes to its board of directors. The newly appointed members also sit on the board of other companies within the group,” the brand told FashionNetwork.com. Meanwhile, five board members have been removed, including Eurazeo CEO Virginie Morgon and Eurazeo managing partner and head of development Frans Tieleman.

Desigual's headquarters in Barcelona - Desigual

Desigual has also ousted three independent non-executive directors. Former Pandora chairman and CEO of companies including Samsonite and Louis Vuitton, Marcello Bottoli, is among those removed, as well as Pierre Cuilleret, who once held the role of client director at Desigual. The founder and chief executive of phone company The Phone House until its IPO in 2000, he is currently CEO of Geyser Investments and sits on the board of fashion e-tailer Boohoo. Both Botolli and Cuilleret were appointed to the Desigual board in 2014. Finally, the co-founder of Idealista and former Flickr and Google chief Bernardo Hernandez has stepped down from a role he held since 2016, representing Solon Inversiones.

Founded in 1984, Desigual rose in popularity and made 963.5 million euros in sales in 2014. Since then, the company has seen revenues decline in the last three consecutive years, with sales of 761 million in 2017. In the first half of 2018, revenues reached just 323 million euros, down 14.5% on the same period the prior year. Desigual says it is midway through a turnaround process in a strategy first launched four years ago which has involved a comprehensive review of its product offering. With Alberto Ojinaga as managing director since last autumn and a smaller board, Thomas Meyer’s company  is moving forward with plans to restore growth. But to return to its former glory, the brand will have to rethink its strategy and refresh its offer whilst retaining the elements which once made it reach nearly 1 billion euros in sales.

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