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10 Things You Didn't Know about Marco Gobbetti

Marco Gobbetti

Marco Gobbetti is the CEO of Burberry. This isn't the first time that he has been responsible for running a luxury brand, as shown by how he was the CEO of Celine before that and the CEO of Givenchy before that.

1. Is Italian

Gobbetti is an Italian businessman. Currently, he is working for a British luxury company. However, it is interesting to note that he has worked for a number of Italian luxury companies over the course of his career.

2. Studied in the United States

For his education, Gobbetti headed to the United States. First, he studied business administration at American University, which is a private research university that can be found in Washington, D.C. Perhaps unsurprisingly, said school has a reputation for being one of the top feeder schools for the U.S. Foreign Service as well as other U.S. governmental agencies. After American University, Gobbetti also studied for a master's degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which was once an independent institution but has since been brought under the aegis of Arizona State University.

3. Worked for Bottega Veneta

Initially, Gobbetti worked for an Italian luxury company called Bottega Veneta. Said company started out as a maker of artisanal leather goods. By the early 1980s, Bottega Veneta had managed to become a favorite of some very high-profile names, but it was also in the 1980s that serious problems in its decision-making started causing its fortunes to fade, so much so that it was bought out by the Gucci Group in 2001. Nowadays, it has returned to the formula that brought it its earlier success, thus enabling it to become an excellent example of stealth wealth. In any case, Gobbetti started out in sales management before assuming some marketing responsibilities as well.

4. Worked for Valextra

Later, Gobbetti worked for another Italian luxury company called Valextra, which bears a name that was put together using the Italian word for "suitcase" as well as extra. It is similar to Bottega Veneta in that it also manufactures leather goods aimed at a very upscale market without being too blatant about their luxuriousness. Some people might also be interested to know that Valextra has a history of working with exotic hides rather than their more conventional counterparts, with examples including both alligator and hippopotamus.

5. Worked for Moschino

Even later still, Gobbetti winded up at Moschino, though by that point in time, he was a CEO. Once again, Moschino is an Italian luxury company that produces leather goods as well as other products. In its case, it is named for its creator Franco Moschino, who was a rather stand-out figure. For instance, the man was well-known for colorful and innovative designs that could be outright eccentric. Moreover, he combined those with a love for fairies as well as a commitment to social awareness, as shown by his criticisms of the fashion industry.

6. Worked for Givenchy

After Moschino, Gobbetti became the CEO of Givenchy. Naturally, this is another luxury company, though French rather than Italian. In the present time, Givenchy is owned by LVMH, which is a French multinational corporation that specializes in luxury goods. Given the letters, some people might predict a connection to Louis Vutton. If so, they would be right because LVMH was formed from a merger of Louis Vutton with Moët Henessy, which itself was a merger between a champagne producer and a cognac producer.

7. Worked for Celine

By 2008, Gobbetti was the CEO of Celine, which is a French luxury company that specializes in leather goods as well as ready-to-wear clothing. Under his tenure, Celine went through some serious changes. For instance, it saw a movement of headquarters. Furthermore, it changed its focus to "clean and sophisticated" products, which were in line with Gobbetti's previous efforts.

8. Has Been Impacted By Hong Kong's Political Problems

Hong Kong was a major market for Burberry, so much so that it was responsible for about 8 percent of its sales. However, the political demonstrations in said region has had a negative impact on a wide range of businesses, with Burberry being no exception to this rule. In particular, it is worth mentioning that there was a huge fall in the number of Mainlander consumers visiting Hong Kong, which was problematic because they made up a considerable proportion of Burberry customers.

Having said that, it seems safe to say that Burberry's position in Hong Kong hasn't seen much improvement. One, the political demonstrations are still happening, meaning that they are continuing to have an impact on economic matters. Two, while China has managed to bring its COVID-19 cases under control, it was nonetheless another economic blow on top of the one that hadn't been healed.

9. Inherited a Challenging Situation

Apparently, Gobbetti inherited a challenging situation when he came in as the new CEO of Burberry. Basically, Burberry is a luxury company. The problem with luxury companies is that they are very reliant on their perception in the eyes of their potential customers because that it is can convince them to pay the heightened prices. Burberry made a mistake by being too eager to distribute its products, with the result that its position was weakened by the poorer regard in which its brand was held as a direct consequence of this.

10. It Remains to Be Seen Whether He Can Revive Burberry or Not

In any case, Gobbetti came in with big plans for Burberry. For example, he wanted to make the company more important in the handbag market, which has been a weakness for it. Likewise, he wanted to make Burberry more upmarket, as shown by the changes to its excessive distribution. On top of this, Gobbetti has also sought to make other beneficial changes, with an excellent example being a Tencent partnership so as to better target the Chinese luxury market. However, it remains to be seen whether he can revive the company or not, which is still uncertain at this point in time.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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