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Burberry's new CEO to take up role two weeks early

Lauretta Roberts
20 January 2022

Burberry has announced that its incoming CEO, Jonathan Akeroyd, will join the luxury house two weeks earlier than had been expected on 15 March. 

Akeroyd joins from Versace and takes over from Marco Gobbetti, who left Burberry at the end of last year to move back to Italy to lead luxury footwear brand Salvatore Ferragamo.

He had initially been expected to take over on 1 April but the company informed the stock market of his early arrival today, a day after posting third quarter revenues of £723m, up by 5% compared to same period last year. The performance was helped by its increased focus on full-price sales.

Akeroyd is expected to receive a £6m "golden hello" when he arrives at Burberry, in deferred cash and shares in lieu of bonuses he has forfeited on leaving Versace. His new pay package includes a £1.1m annual salary plus cash benefits of £50,000, as well as a potential bonus worth up to £2.2m and long-term incentive share awards worth a possible £1.8m.

Prior to running Versace, Akeroyd had been CEO at Alexander McQueen for 12 years and his CV also includes a stint at luxury department store Harrods.

A British national, he said he was "honoured" to take over from Gobbetti, who had been at the house for five years, when his appointment was announced in the autumn.

“I have long admired Burberry’s position as the most iconic British luxury brand and I have a deep affection for its storied heritage.

“I am looking forward to returning to London where I first built my career in the luxury industry," he said.

When Gobbetti announced his intention to leave, Akeroyd was widely tipped to take over. A key question when he arrives will be how well he gels with chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci, who had a close relationship with Gobbetti since the pair had worked together previously at Givenchy.

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