Prada’s Lorenzo Bertelli sets out ‘soft transition” to new leadership
Jan 25, 2023
The succession of Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada is underway. On Thursday 26, the board of directors of the Italian luxury group is expected to ratify the appointment of Andrea Guerra as managing director. As expected, current CEO Patrizio Bertelli, aged 76 will become chairman, while his wife Miuccia Prada, aged 73, who co-led the company with him, will keep her role as creative director for the young Miu Miu line and for the Prada line, which she leads with Raf Simons. The aim is to prepare the ground until their eldest son Lorenzo takes over the management of the company.
Prada Group announced in December that Guerra would be recommended as the new CEO at a board meeting to be held on January 26 by Prada Holding, which owns 80% of Prada group.
The plan is for Lorenzo Bertelli, 34, to take over the leadership of the group at a future date.
But when? The 34-year-old himself does not know. “Probably not for another three to four years” the director of corporate social responsibility told us on Wednesday in Venice, on the occasion of the presentation of an educational project promoted by the Milanese group to raise awareness among children of ocean protection.
The arrival of an external manager, the ex-boss of Luxottica, marks a turning point for Prada. “It’s a big change, but it’s a rational decision, in line with the succession process of any family business,” Lorenzo Bertelli tells FashionNetwork.com. “We’ve been discussing it for a long time as a family. It’s a way to ensure a normal and non-traumatic succession,” he stresses.
For the young entrepreneur, nothing will really change for now. “I will report to Andrea Guerra, doing the same work I used to do with my father,” he says. His younger brother Giulio, a sailing enthusiast, is not active in the company.
Lorenzo Bertelli, who graduated in philosophy from Milan’s San Raffaele University, started working for the company in 2017 as digital communications manager. Promoted to marketing director in 2019, he has also been leading sustainability since 2020. In 2021, he joined the Prada Group board of directors as executive director. He had already joined the board of Prada Holding in 2015.
As part of this reorganisation, the group also appointed Gianfranco D’Attis as CEO of its flagship brand Prada earlier this year. This is a new position, as the house was previously overseen by the group’s CEO Patrizio Bertelli, together with his wife, the designer of Miuccia Prada, while the young Miu Miu line has been led since 2020 by Benedetta Petruzzo.
The fashion group reported 2021 sales of €3.366 billion, up 41% at constant exchange rates compared to 2020 and up 8% compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019. Listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, it is also considering a listing on the Milan stock exchange.
Bertelli said that Chinese buyers were present at its men’s fashion show held this month in Milan, after being absent in recent years due to the restrictions related to the pandemic.
FashionNetwork.com with Reuters
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