Mulberry's year-long search for a CEO has finally come to an end. On Thursday morning, the beleaguered leather goods brand announced that it had appointed Thierry Andretta to the role left vacant by Bruno Guillon last March.
Andretta was previously the chief executive of high-end Italian jewelry brand Buccellati, but he's been with Mulberry as an independent non-executive director since last June, consulting on the company's international expansion plans. (And, perhaps, trying to be in the right place at the right time?) Andretta has also held senior roles at Lanvin, Moschino, Gucci Group, LVMH and Céline. The appointment is effective April 7, at which point Chairman and Interim CEO Godfrey Davis will go back to being just a chairman.
Andretta has quite the task before him, with Mulberry in desperate need of a turnaround. Guillon's efforts to bring the label more upmarket, partly by raising the prices of handbags, alienated existing customers and led to a steep sales decline. Although revamp efforts have already begun — Davis introduced a lower-priced line of bags and a collaboration with Cara Delevingne over the past year — Mulberry has continued to lose money. (It has attributed some of its recent losses to costs associated with the revamp, such as store openings.)
Of course, Mulberry has also been lacking on the creative front — it hasn't had a creative director since Emma Hill left in June of 2013 — but that hopefully won't be the case for long. In December, the company announced that it had hired Johnny Coca from Céline to fill the role, though he doesn't start until July. Mulberry says Coca and Andretta will work closely together. Let's hope this is the dream team Mulberry needs to regain the "It" status it once had.