Giovanni Zoppas switches focus to concentrate exclusively on Thélios
Jul 31, 2019
Since June, Giovanni Zoppas has been concentrating 100% on eyewear manufacturer Thélios. As the joint venture launched by LVMH and Marcolin in 2017 accelerates its development, its CEO and general manager has decided to step down from his role as EVP at the Italian optical company that launched it.
In a release, Marcolin explained that Zoppas "is leaving his responsibilities in the group, while still remaining as a director of the board," further clarifying that "This is part of an agreed-upon plan between the parties, aimed at maximizing the overall value of Marcolin Group."
Zoppas joined Marcolin as CEO in 2012, having begun his career at Andersen Consulting, before moving on to the Benetton Group, where he notably served as international business controller. From 2003 to 2006, he was the general manager of Nordica, and subsequently went on to hold the positions of CFO and COO at the Coin Group.
Thélios is currently pursuing the objectives of its business plan aggressively. Having opened its first manufacturing site in April 2018 at Longarone, to the North of Venice, where Marcolin has its HQ, the eyewear company announced at the beginning of this year that it will be building a second factory in Italy which, when working at full capacity, will allow the manufacturer to produce 4.5 million pairs of glasses per year, compared to its current capacity of 1.5 million. The new facility should also employ between 600 and 700 people.
The factory should be operational as of the fourth quarter of 2020 – just in time to begin production of optical and sunglasses for Dior, a bright star in the LVMH portfolio whose eyewear license with Safilo comes to an end on December 31, 2020. Thélios kicked off its manufacturing activities with the production of eyewear collections for Celine, another label belonging to the French luxury giant whose license had until then been held by Safilo.
After Celine, came eyewear lines from Loewe, Fred, Kenzo and Berluti. The goal for the joint venture, 51% of which is owned by LVMH, is to become the main eyewear partner for brands in the French group's portfolio, thereby bringing manufacturing in house, just as Kering did with Kering Eyewear.
Over the next few years, Thélios could therefore be looking to take over the licenses of other brands that currently work with Safilo, which still boasts responsibility for the eyewear collections of three LVMH brands: Givenchy, Fendi and Marc Jacobs.
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