Luxottica Vice-President Francesco Milleri takes on CEO role too

There are changes at the very top for Luxottica. The Italian eyewear giant, which is due to merge next year with the world number one in ophthalmic optics, French group Essilor, has reshuffled its senior management, notably strengthening the position of Vice-President Francesco Milleri. The latter will also take on the role of CEO, following the departure, three months ahead of the scheduled contractual term, of former CEO Massimo Vian, in charge of operations and products.


Francesco Milleri - DR

"Luxottica Group has streamlined its governance (...) concentrating the leadership in the hands of Executive President Leonardo Del Vecchio and Vice-President Francesco Milleri," the eyewear group stated in a press release, also announcing that CFO Stefano Grassi will now sit on the board of directors.

"Today's decision makes Luxottica even faster and more proactive, with a senior management team focused on strategy and a geographical structure organised so as to be always as close as possible to all our customers and their needs," said founder Leonardo Del Vecchio.

Massimo Vian worked at Luxottica for 13 years, and in 2014 he was promoted from COO to CEO. He left the corporation receiving a €6.3 million bonus, on top of his separation package.

As for Francesco Milleri, the appointment marks his growing influence within the Italian eyewear manufacturer. He was initially an external consultant specialised in IT, and is considered close to Leonardo Del Vecchio and his wife Nicoletta Zampillo. He was co-opted on to Luxottica's board of directors in March 2016, a month before being appointed Vice-President, tasked with "helping and assisting" Leonardo Del Vecchio.

These changes are seemingly part of Luxottica's preparations ahead of the setting up of the organisation that will be created after the merger with Essilor, which is to be led by a new General Manager. In a recent interview to the Financial Times, the CEO of Essilor, Hubert Sagnières, who will lead the future Essilor-Luxottica conglomerate jointly with Leonardo Del Vecchio, said that a general manager will be hired within "two, three or five years, or perhaps in six months."

Translated by Nicola Mira

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