The Former Director of Versace Becomes the New Burberry CEO
According to DPA, the German press agency, Jonathan Akeroyd (age 54) will take up the post on April 1, 2022, and will receive an installation premium of approximately 6 million pounds (8,3 million dollars), consisting of cash and shares, to offset bonuses lost after leaving Versace.
He will replace Marco Gobbetti, who surprisingly announced in June that he plans to step down as CEO of Burberry after a five-year term. Marco Gobbeti will leave Burberry later this year to lead an Italian rival brand, Salvatore Ferragamo.
President Gerry Murphy will coordinate the Burberry brand as interim CEO until Jonathan Akeroyd joins the company in April.
Jonathan Akeroyd had a Fulminating Career
Jonathan Akeroyd has led the Italian fashion house Versace since 2016. Previously, he was for 12 years the executive director of Alexander McQueen, contributing to the brand's celebrity and success.
The future director of Burberry, who is a British citizen, held in the past several management positions in the fashion divisions of the famous London store Harrods.
Burberry has revealed that in addition to that impressive installation bonus, Jonathan Akeroyd will receive an annual salary of £ 1.1 million, cash benefits of £ 50,000, bonuses that could reach up to £ 2.2 million, as well as long-term loyalty shares worth up to £ 1.8 million.
Burberry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic
Jonathan Akeroyd joins the Burberry team after the British brand went through an extremely difficult period during the COVID-19 pandemic when its stores remained closed for several months and its European subsidiaries were affected by the absence of foreign tourists.
In the UK, about two-thirds of the brand's sales are provided by tourists, who did not travel during this period during the pandemic.
The company was also affected by the position taken by the Better Cotton Initiative after the organization publicly expressed a number of concerns about the existence of forced labor in factories in Xinjiang - with which Burberry collaborates - a Chinese region famous for its cotton culture. Burberry is part of the Better Cotton Initiative.
The ruling Chinese Communist Party - known for its long-term abuses of human rights - is involved in a genocide against the Uighur minority living in Xinjiang, as well as against Falun Gong practitioners and other innocent groups of Chinese people, according to international human rights organizations.
If we look closely into China's history, we can easily that since coming to power, the Communist regime has persecuted its own people throughout numerous extermination campaigns. Tens of millions of innocent people have lost their lives in brutal campaigns such as the Great Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward (which led to the Great Famine), etc.
However, financial reports show that Burberry sales returned to levels recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter of this year after the British brand decided to sell more products at their full prices and to rely less on the technique of price reductions.