Versace's Jonathan Akeroyd is new Burberry CEO
Burberry announced one of its most important appointments for years on Wednesday with news that Versace chief Jonathan Akeroyd will be its new CEO and executive director from April next year.
The 54-year-old British national is a widely respected executive and has been CEO of Gianni Versace SpA since June 2016. He joins at a crucial time as the firm continues to work towards its more heavily luxury-focused strategy and also to recover from the pandemic.
Burberry said that “in his tenure at Versace, Jonathan has reorganised and accelerated growth at the iconic Italian fashion house, building on the brand's rich creative heritage to elevate product, communications and the customer experience”.
Before that, he was the long-time CEO of Alexander McQueen (from 2004 to 2016), “during which time he led a turnaround of the British luxury brand and laid the foundation for global expansion”.
He’s also held a number of senior fashion roles at London-based luxury department store Harrods.
In his new role at Burberry, he’ll report to Chair Gerry Murphy and the board, with Murphy hailing him as “an experienced leader with a strong track record in building global luxury fashion brands and driving profitable growth. He shares our values and our ambition to build on Burberry's unique British creative heritage and his deep luxury and fashion industry expertise will be key to advancing the next phase of Burberry's evolution”.
Meanwhile Akeroyd described Burberry as “the most iconic British luxury brand” and said he’s “looking forward to returning to London where I first built my career in the luxury industry to join a talented team with ambitious plans for the future and a strong platform to accelerate growth”.
His appointment comes after the surprise resignation of Marco Gobbetti who leaves at the end of this year.
Burberry said that its new chief will receive an annual salary of £1.1 million and an annual cash benefits allowance of £50,000. He’ll be eligible for a target bonus of 100% of salary and maximum of 200% of salary and a Burberry Share Plan award of 162.5% of salary.
He’ll be granted cash and share awards in the years ahead with an aggregate value of approximately £6 million “to compensate for share and cash incentives from his current employer that he will forfeit on joining Burberry”.
The news of his appointment came several hours after Capri Holdings said Akeroyd would be stepping down at Versace in March “to pursue another opportunity that will enable him to return to the United Kingdom and be closer to his family”.
Capri is now searching for a new Versace leader.
John D Idol, Chairman and CEO of Capri, said: “I would like to thank Jonathan for his leadership and tremendous contribution to Versace. We wish him the best in his new role. He leaves Versace at a time when there is strong momentum for the brand and we are executing on our clearly defined strategic initiatives.”
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