Sidney Toledano leaving Christian Dior, to be replaced by Pietro Beccari
Sidney Toledano is to resign from his position as CEO of Christian Dior and be replaced by Pietro Beccari, the Italian CEO of Rome-based Fendi, in a significant change of management within LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. And more changes are in the pipeline.
Toledano is due to quit Dior in January. However, he will stay within the group and take over from Pierre-Yves Roussel as Chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group. This consists of LVMH’s “smaller” brands: Céline, Kenzo, Loewe, Marc Jacobs and Emilio Pucci.
Roussel is expected to be named a special consultant to LVMH Chairman and CEO, and controlling shareholder, Bernard Arnault. However, it is understood his days at LVMH may be numbered and that Roussel is paying the price for the huge losses at Marc Jacobs. A year ago, significantly, Arnault remarked that he was “more worried about Marc Jacobs than Donald Trump.” That said, Roussel does have a reputation as a brilliant talent spotter – having appointed Phoebe Philo at Céline, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon at Kenzo and Jonathan Anderson at Loewe, currently the luxury group’s hottest designer.
The arrival of Beccari may also presage the departure of Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, who Toledano appointed in 2016. Sources indicated that, within the walls of Dior, Arnault has frequently been critical of Chiuri.
“Apparently, Arnault is not enthusiastic about Maria Grazia Chiuri and with the arrival of Pietro Beccari he may want to start with clean sheet,” said one well-informed source. “In Arnault’s view Chiuri has been far too able to do exactly what she wanted at Dior, like opening her own Dior Pop Up boutique on Avenue Montaigne.”
News of Toledano’s departure comes eight months after LVMH announced plans to acquire Christian Dior Couture, in a deal that valued the fashion and accessory house at €6.5 billion. LVMH already owned Parfums Christian Dior, so the move united the storied brand, which this year celebrated its 70th anniversary. In the latest financial year, sales of Christian Dior Couture grew 5% to €1.9 billion.
Industry observers agreed that the changes were part of a normal succession plan, replacing Toledano, 66, with Beccari, 50, who has been a star manager at Fendi. Since being named CEO of Fendi in February 2012 Beccari has tripled the Roman brand’s turnover to over €1 billion.
Neither Toledano, Beccari nor Roussel returned calls requesting comment.
No news yet on Beccari’s successor Fendi, however some are tipping Nicola Brandolese, a former executive at eyewear giant Luxottica, who joined LVMH in July and has been shadowing Beccari at Fendi since the summer.
Toledano’s new position is also a proof of the esteem in which Arnault holds him, entrusting a wise pair of hands to oversee the Fashion Group of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate. His new position will be one of oversight and strategy rather than day to day management.
Toledano joined Dior in 1994 reporting to the then CEO François Baufumé, before taking charge in 1998. Under his reign, he has overseen a succession of designers, and launched Dior Homme under the brilliant but volatile creator Hedi Slimane. He was also considered to have deftly handled the 2011 crisis when Dior’s couturier John Galliano was filmed making anti-Semitic comments in a Paris café and subsequently relieved of his position.
“Sidney did 20 years at the top of Dior. For a luxury executive today that is very impressive run. People should not forget that. And he still has a very nice job,” stressed one source.
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