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20 Oct 2021

UK's Burberry names Jonathan Akeroyd as its New CEO

The Index Today

The popular British fashion house Burberry named Jonathan Akeroyd as its new chief executive officer from next April, talent poaching the boss of Milan-based Gianni Versace and former Alexander McQueen head to succeed Marco Gobbetti.

Reuters reported that the 165-year-old group has been searching for a replacement for Gobbetti since June, when he announced his shock departure mid-way into a multi-year turnaround plan to take the brand further upmarket.

Shares in Burberry, which have extended losses since the announcement of Gobbetti's departure and were trading 19% down on June levels, rose 1% in early trading on Wednesday.

Burberry Chair Gerry Murphy said that "Jonathan is an experienced leader with a strong track record in building global luxury fashion brands and driving profitable growth."

Akeroyd accelerated growth during his five years at Italy's Versace, Burberry said. He oversaw the sale of the house to U.S. label Michael Kors in 2018.

Versace's sales rebounded in the latest quarter reported by its renamed parent Capri Holdings, with revenue of $240 million up 158% year on year and a return to profit after the COVID-19 impact a year earlier.

Berenberg analysts said Akeroyd had "lots of luxury CEO experience of leading houses - as well as brand turnarounds".

Like other luxury brands, Burberry was hit by COVID-19, but it has recovered, driven by demand in Asia.

©Photo: Jonathan Akeroyd | Source: Courtesy

Clay pottery with table linens