Eraldo Poletto Exits As Furla CEO

MILAN – Furla chief executive officer Eraldo Poletto has resigned from his role at the Bologna-based firm, effective at the end of June. This confirms earlier speculation about his exit, as reported. Sources in Milan say he will be joining Salvatore Ferragamo SpA on July 1, succeeding CEO Michele Norsa, who will exit the company by the end of the year for personal reasons.

Ferragamo declined comment.

If he does join the company, Poletto will bring to Ferragamo his longstanding experience in the accessories sector, which remains that company’s core business. Although Ferragamo is publicly listed, the namesake family is still involved; Furla is also controlled by a family, the Furlanettos, led by president Giovanna Furlanetto.

The timing of Poletto’s exit is surprising given that Furla revealed earlier this week that it had inked an agreement with TIP Tamburi Investment Partners for a capital increase and said it is eying an initial public offering by 2018.

Poletto joined Furla in June 2010. He was previously president of strategic development and international business worldwide at Retail Brand Alliance Inc., parent company of Brooks Brothers. He was also a member of the executive team and board, president of Brooks Brothers International Inc., and director of the board of Brooks Brothers Japan, U.K. and Europe. Poletto exited Furla in November 2012 for a brief stint as ceo of Alfred Dunhill, but returned to the Italian accessories firm in spring 2013.

At the time, Furla stated that Poletto’s return to the Italian fashion brand was related to “the launch of major development plans set to accelerate the company’s growth and expansion.”

Poletto helped grow the company around the world, further developing its retail network, which in 2015 counted a total of 415 stores. Last year, Furla saw revenues rise 30 percent to 339 million euros, or $376.3 million, with a 23 percent gain in like-for-like sales. Revenues have grown 126 percent since 2010. Furla’s performance last year was also boosted by the brand’s new categories–a men’s line, women’s footwear and the eyewear license with De Rigo. Furla has signed licensing agreements with Ratti and Morellato for textile accessories and watches, respectively.

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