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Benetton co-founder shakes up governance with next gens

By James Beech

Luciano Benetton has overhauled the fashion empire he co-founded by forming a new corporate vehicle and appointing next generation family members to its board.

The 83-year-old, whose fortune Forbes estimates at $3.5 billion, making him the 11th richest man in Italy, co-founded his fashion house in 1965 with his siblings Gilberto, Giuliana and Carlo. Despite making way for non-family managers to take control of the group in 2006, Benetton assumed the office of executive chairman of his struggling namesake in January this year. This month he delivered his biggest revision yet of the group’s governance and organisational structure.

Luciano Benetton has established a new corporate vehicle, Benetton Srl, to direct and co-ordinate the two operating subsidiaries of the apparel textile sector: Benetton Group Srl (commercial activity) and Olimpias Group Srl (productive activity).

The board of directors of Benetton srl is chaired by Luciano Benetton as executive chairman and composed of Christian Benetton, Franca Bertagnin Benetton, Sabrina Benetton, Marco Patuano, Christian Coco and Fabio Buttignon.

The operating subsidiary Benetton Group Srl will have a new board of directors composed of executive managers already reporting directly to Luciano Benetton: Tommaso Brusò, chief operating officer, Sandro Saccardi, chief financial officer, and Andrea Pezzangora, general counsel of the group, under the chairmanship non-executive by Christian Coco, as an exponent of the parent company Edizione Srl.

The operating subsidiary Olimpias Group Srl will have a new board of directors composed of Andrea Piras, product director, group sourcing & operations, Tommaso Brusò, Sandro Saccardi and Andrea Pezzangora, under the executive chair of Christian Benetton.

“This structure favours the guidance and coordination of the group's decision-making processes, concentrating them on the new Benetton Srl company,” the group said.

Edizione, the Benetton family’s holding company and one of the largest in Italy, also has interests in mobility services, food and beverage, real estate and agriculture. Edizione turned over €11.6 billion in 2016 including $1.38 billion from the Benetton’s namesake clothing lines.

Luciano Benetton received a Doctor of Fine Arts Honorary Degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York this week.

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