Kering names Mehdi Benabadji the new CEO of Brioni
The French luxury group picked Mehdi Benabadji to be the new CEO of Brioni. His appointment takes effect from January 1, 2020. Benabadji will report to Jean-François Palus, group managing director of Kering, according to a release from the group on Tuesday.
Benabadji succeeds Fabrizio Malverdi, an experienced executive who joined Brioni in April 2017. Malverdi took over from Gianluca Flore, who held the top post at Brioni since October 2014.
Benabadji joins Brioni – which is based in the mountainous Abruzzi region of Italy south east of Rome - with a wealth of experience. Since 2003, he had held a series of operational and executive positions within Kering. Most recently, he was chief operations officer, in charge of the group’s logistics and industrial activities. Benabadji is a graduate of France’s ESSEC Business School, who began his career as a consultant in 1995, before joining Kering eight years later.
Though noted for its exceptional materials, and master tailors, Brioni has been jostled by repeated changes in direction and creative direction – hiring and firing as many designers as CEOs in the same half decade. Irishman Brendan Mullane was replaced by Australian Justin O’Shea in 2016; who was summarily sacked six months later, after picking Metallica as models of the august gentlemanly label. His German successor Nina-Maria Nitsche – a pick of Valverde’s – was herself kicked out within a year and succeeded by Norbert Stumpfl, an Austrian. Talk about a revolving door.
However, the new CEO should be quite familiar with Brioni, as Benabadji was previously director of strategy and development of the house after its acquisition by Kering in 2011.
“His mission now will be to consolidate the repositioning of Brioni and to support its international development,” said Kering in the release.
Malverdi “has decided to leave the Group to pursue a new professional challenge. Kering would like to thank him warmly for his commitment and his contribution as CEO of Brioni in recent years,” it added.
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