Benetton: the family takes a step back

Ponzano, 6th March 2003 - In a lengthy interview published today in Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Luciano Benetton sets out some decisions regarding Benetton Group.

In particular, Benetton's Chairman highlights the willingness of the Benetton Family to take a step back from the running of the company, a leader in the clothing sector, with the decisive strengthening of the managerial structure, coinciding with the arrival of a new Managing Director, to replace Luigi de Puppi, who will leave the position having reached his objectives.

"The responsibility of the managers has to be total. And I will go further, in Benetton Group, the step back by the family will directly correspond to the reinforcement of the managerial structure with the entry of new managers' states Luciano Benetton in the interview. He adds, regarding the new Managing Director, that the "choice has been made, but this manager is currently concluding some important operations, so you will understand my reserve. This step will undoubtedly strengthen the company, which is moving into an important phase. Just think about the investments in the megastores, or the decision to produce quality clothing made in Italy and made in Europe."

Luciano Benetton, who will retain the position of Chairman of Benetton Group, states in the interview that his role will be one "almost of honorary Chairman, that is to say, not involved with the day-to-day, or even month-to-month, running of the company. My brothers and sister will also leave their roles to managers who have already been selected. We will just be shareholders. We have learned the lesson with Autogrill and Autostrade".

He continues, "I mentioned Autostrade and Autogrill because these acquisitions enabled us to understand that we had to envisage a group in which the operative companies were capable of going it alone. The shareholders grouped in Edizione (the company which owns 50% of Autostrade, 57% of Autogrill and 69% of Benetton authors note), are in a position to guarantee development, general strategic options, and continuity, while at the same time the companies are perfectly autonomous and able expand."

Finally, Luciano Benetton underlines how, in 2002, the financial results of Benetton were strongly influenced by the devaluation of the sports brands assets, and without this the company would have realised a significant profit.


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