Founder and chairman of family-controlled eyewear group Luxottica, Leonardo Del Vecchio, has resigned from the board of insurance firm Assicurazioni Generali due to concerns over the company’s governance, say various reports.
Del Vecchio resigned on 21 February following comments about strategy by Generali chairman Cesare Geronzi. The controversy stems from an interview with the Financial Times where Geronzi had suggested investing in Italian banks. This caused disagreements with company shareholders who saw the plan as a way to gain influence rather than obtain returns.
Experts say that the resignation by Del Vecchio, who holds a 2% stake in the Trieste-based insurance company, is potentially awkward for Generali which is expected to hold a board meeting this week to discuss corporate governance issues within the group.
Seventy four year-old Del Vecchio is a prominent figure in Italy and is the second richest man in the country with a fortune worth $10 billion according to Forbes. He founded Luxottica in 1961, which is the biggest maker of sunglasses in the world, making brands like Rayban and Oakley. The company is 70% owned by the Del Vecchio family.
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