Prada names Andrea Guerra as company CEO

Prada SpA, the famous Italian fashion house, appointed Andrea Guerra as its new CEO. He will be taking the place of Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada, a husband-and-wife team.

Guerra, 57, is a seasoned business professional with experience as the CEO of eyewear giant Luxottica and Italian food specialist Eataly. Most recently, he was the head of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s hospitality division.

Prada, an Italian family-controlled company, faces many questions about leadership as its founders’ age. The recent move clarifies the immediate succession plans and offers more clarity for the future of the company.

The Mario Prada-founded group has always had family control and generates over $3 billion in annual revenue. Based in Milan, the company sells bags, trunks, and travel accessories.

The great-grandson of the founder, Lorenzo Bertelli, has recently taken a more active role in the company and is now the marketing chief. According to a Tuesday statement, Guerra’s appointment is meant to-

“Ease the succession of Lorenzo Bertelli, the future leader of the group.”

Guerra’s main goal will be to achieve “steady and sustainable growth”.

The granddaughter of Mario, Miuccia Prada, will continue her role as executive director. Bertelli will become chairman and Paolo Zannoni, the current holder of that role will be Executive Deputy Chairman.

In 2011, Prada raised $2.1 billion by listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This came at a time when many other luxury brands were migrating to Asia in order to better serve their largest customer base. Currently, Prada is exploring the possibility of a secondary listing in Europe.

The brand, most popular for its Galleria handbags, had a rough go during the pandemic as it saw large exposures to Asia– one of the continents hardest hit by Covid-19. Yet in July, Prada came back swinging with reports of increased first-half revenue due to booming sales in Europe and the Americas.

Guerra has spent a long time in the fashion industry and used to manage Luxottica, an Italian company that focused on sunglasses. Later, this business merged with a French lens manufacturer to become EssilorLuxottica. Nowadays, this combined eyewear group is responsible for making glasses for designer labels such as Prada and Miu Miu.

In a previous note, Jefferies analyst Flavio Cereda said that Guerra would bring essential experience and credibility to the management team as Prada starts a succession plan for the future.

Guerra’s addition to the team will certainly bring a fresh breath of air to the fashion house, and we look forward to seeing what he brings in terms of growth.  With this latest move, the future of Prada looks brighter. It is certainly an exciting time for the company.

It will be interesting to see what the new CEO brings to the table.  We are sure it will be something extraordinary!

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