Italian fashion group Prada is set to hire former Luxottica Chief Executive Andrea Guerra in a top management role to ease a transition at the helm to the next generation of the founding family, a source with knowledge of the matter said.
Founded in Milan in 1913 by designer Miuccia Prada’s grandfather and his brother as a leather goods shop, Hong Kong-listed Prada has grown into a group with 365 directly operated shops as of end-2021 and yearly revenues of 3.7 billion euros, of which some 40% come from the Asia Pacific region.
A year ago current Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli, 76, said he planned to hand over the reins of the group he leads with wife Miuccia to their 34-year-old son Lorenzo.
Lorenzo, who is Prada’s marketing chief, joined the company’s board in May 2021 ahead of his father telling investors in November he could take over as CEO within “three to four years”.
Facing a family succession, like many other Italian business dynasties, Prada has been planning ahead and seeking a senior figure to work alongside Lorenzo while he gains experience in the field, another person close to the matter said.
Widely credited with being a fast learner, Lorenzo joined the family business in 2017 as head of digital communication.
Prada is putting the final touches on an accord with Guerra to hire the 57-year-old manager, who earlier this year stepped down as head of the hotels division at luxury goods giant LVMH, the first source said.
Both Prada and Guerra declined to comment on the news.
“We believe Guerra would add invaluable experience and significant gravitas to the Prada senior management team,” said broker Jefferies, adding the market would welcome the news given the group was initiating a phase of succession.
As Luxottica CEO from 2004 to 2014, Guerra oversaw a more than doubling in sales at the spectacles manufacturer that since 2003 has been producing and distributing eyeglasses under the Prada group’s Prada and Miu Miu brands.
Veteran Luxottica executive Massimo Vian, hired by Guerra in 2005 and later head of operations at the eyewear group, joined Prada in May 2020 as chief operating officer.
Italian daily la Repubblica first reported the news that Prada could announce Guerra’s arrival as early as January.