Travel retail: Dufry appoints Xavier Rossinyol as new CEO
Swiss group Dufry appoints a new leader after being affected by the consequences of the health crisis on its travel retail business. The duty-free operator announced the arrival of Xavier Rossinyol as its new CEO effective June 1. He will join the company on March 1 to ensure a smooth transition from current CEO Julian Diaz, who is stepping down after holding the position for 17 years.
Rossinyol is quite familiar with Dufry, having been a part of its management team from 2004 to 2015 as CFO, and then as Chief Operating Officer EMEA and Asia. For the past seven years, he has been CEO of Gategroup, the leader in airline catering and onboard retail.
"I am very pleased to have Xavier back as our new CEO. His unparalleled industry experience, leadership skills and strategic vision will enable Dufry to recover further from the Covid-19 crisis and accelerate short and long-term value creation," said Juan Carlos Torres, chairman of the Swiss company’s board of directors.
The Dufry group operates a network of 2,300 duty-free stores located in airports, ports, cruise ships and train stations in 64 countries. Founded in 1865 and based in Basel, the company announced a business restructuring in 2020 after recording as many losses as sales in the face of difficulties related to the pandemic (-71.1% compared to 2019), or nearly 2.5 billion Swiss francs (€2.4 billion).
As air traffic picked up in 2021, despite restrictions still in place in some countries, Dufry's business in the third quarter of its 2021 fiscal year (July to September) grew by 174% compared to the same period in 2020, but this level is still 44.4% lower than 2019.
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