Luxottica Group SpA Sinks: CEO Quits In Clash With Aged Patriarch
Luxottica Group SpA (NYSE: LUX) lost more than 8 percent of its value Monday after the company said its chief executive resigned after less than two months on the job.
Enrico Cavatorta quit as CEO of the Milan, Italy-based owner of Sunglass Hut and Lenscrafters eye-wear retailer over a dispute with its 79-year-old founder and chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio, who holds a controlling stake, according to several news reports.
Luxottica offered no reason for Cavatorta's departure and named current Chief Operations Officer Massimo Vian as co-chief executive in charge of products and operations, while it conducts a search for a co-CEO to head markets.
Analysts have expressed concern that in light of recent management turmoil, Luxottica may face recruitment troubles. Cavatorta took the CEO job in September following the abrupt departure of predecessor Andrea Guerra over a reportedly similar clash with Del Vecchio.
But the company said because of strong third-quarter results, it's "in a position to take the necessary time to execute this search, in order to ensure that the best decision is made for the company," and that its search is "based on a high profile list of candidates."
In the news release announcing Cavatorta's departure, Del Vecchio did take the time to air some family matters concerning Delfin, SAR, a holding company that manages his family's interest in Luxottica.
One of Del Vecchio's six children, Leonardo Maria Del Vecchio, "has never been considered" as a Defin board member, while another son, Claudio Del Vecchio, "will not be reappointed following the natural expiration of his mandate, to give consistency and coherence to the positions of all members of the family," the patriarch said.
Luxottica traded recently at $47.28, down 8.5 percent.
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