Kering announced today that it has appointed Emmanuel Gintzburger as CEO of Alexander McQueen, succeeding Jonathan Akeroyd, who leaves the company after 12 years at the helm.
Gintzburger, previously worldwide retail and wholesale director for Yves Saint Laurent, will take on his new duties on May 9, reporting to Grita Loebsack, CEO of the group’s luxury couture and leather goods emerging brands.
Kering said the 42-year-old “will capitalize on his experience of business development in key geographies as well as his strong expertise in retail and marketing, having held various management positions for over 17 years within the luxury and cosmetics industries.”
At Alexander McQueen, the Frenchman will be tasked with pursuing the brand’s global expansion and accelerating its organic growth.
A graduate of Emlyon Business School, Gintzburger joined Saint Laurent as Europe retail director in 2009 and took over as worldwide retail and wholesale director in 2011. Prior to that, he held positions in retail at Lanvin, Sephora France and Louis Vuitton’s Asia Pacific branch.
Akeroyd “is leaving the company to pursue other interests outside of the group,” Kering said.
“Kering is grateful to Jonathan Akeroyd for his contribution during the 12 years he served as ceo of Alexander McQueen,” the group added. “In close collaboration with the creative and leadership team, he successfully oversaw the growth and the international expansion of the brand, making it one of the most recognized British luxury fashion brands in the world.”
The new CEO will have his work cut out for him: Last year, luxury analyst Rogerio Fujimori of RBC Capital Markets wrote in a research note that by expanding its retail footprint in Asia and growing its leather goods category, McQueen aims to double in size and become a 500-million-euro brand in three to four years.
The Canadian bank estimated that McQueen has the potential to reach an earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin of 15 percent in the next few years. It should also improve its sales densities from 15,000 euros per square meter in 2014 to 20,000 euros in the same time frame.
Kering does not break out revenues for McQueen, which belongs to a division that also includes Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, Stella McCartney and Tomas Maier.
According to the RBC note, which the bank prepared after a Kering field trip with investors, McQueen aims to double its directly operated stores to 90 in the next three to four years, double the 2015 count and bumping the retail channel to 54 percent of total sales versus 36 percent in 2014.
Leather goods account for 20 percent of brand sales, trailing women’s ready-to-wear at 38 percent, but ahead of men’s at 15 percent, Fujimori noted. E-commerce represents only 2 percent of revenues.
McQueen recently revamped its Web site with the aim of improving the shopping experience and offering more frequent content — including images and films. The mobile-optimized site allows shoppers to purchase directly from look books.
Special services include click-and-collect services and online appointment booking for the label’s bridal, couture and bespoke Savile Row tailoring services.
In another report on the Alexander McQueen business, also based on the field trip, Barclays in London estimated that McQueen’s sales generate about 15 percent of the “other luxury brands” portfolio at Kering, which only breaks out the results of Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent.
During his 12-year tenure, Akeroyd was nothing if not a steady operator in the most extraordinary of circumstances.
He shepherded the company through extreme highs and lows, including the suicide of founder Lee Alexander McQueen in 2010; the hoopla surrounding the house after it was commissioned by Kate Middleton to design her wedding dress; the “Savage Beauty” exhibition at the Met in New York and later at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and a robust global retail rollout that stretched from Savile Row to China.
Since McQueen’s death, he worked closely with the house’s creative director Sarah Burton.
Most recently, he helped to launch its first new fragrance for more than a decade, McQueen Parfum, and the foundation of a new “fragrance house” with license partners P&G Prestige Beauty.
“We’re big enough to launch something really special and make it a success as well,” he told WWD before the launch in February. “The brand awareness is very high, and when you’re entering into this market, you need strong brand awareness.”
Before joining McQueen, Akeroyd cut his teeth at Harrods, where his last role was as buying and merchandising director.