Fabrizio Cardinali Appointed Dunhill CEO, as Change Continues at Richemont

Dunhill House in London | Photo: Wilson Chardy

LONDON, United Kingdom — Fabrizio Cardinali will take over from Eraldo Poletto as CEO of Dunhill on June 1. Prior to his appointment, Cardinali was CEO of Lancel, which he joined from Dolce and Gabbana.

The appointment represents further managerial change at Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, the Swiss parent company that owns Dunhill, Chloé, Azzedine Alaїa and Lancel, as well as jewellery brands Cartier, Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

On May 16, Richemont’s chairman Johann Rupert announced that he would be taking a year’s sabbatical. During Rupert’s absence Yves-André Istel, deputy chairman, will chair meetings of the board, whilst co-CEO’s Bernard Fornas and Richard Lepeu, appointed on April 1st, will run the company.

Changes at Richemont continued when Martha ‘Marty’ Wikstrom resigned from her post as the group’s head of fashion and accessories on May 21. Her successor has yet to be named. Wikstrom’s resignation may have impacted Poletto’s exit, which market sources claim has already taken place. Poletto was one of three CEOs appointed by Wikstrom as part of a plan to redevelop six of the group’s high-end fashion brands, including Dunhill, Chloé, Azzedine Alaїa and Lancel, some of which were loss-making businesses just a few years ago.

Compared to the company’s jewellery brands — which have experienced extraordinary growth, leading to a 30.2 percent increase in net profits, to $2.59 billion, for the year ended 31 March, 2013 — growth at the group’s fashion brands has remained tentative. Annual results for the 12 months preceding March 31 show “single-digit sales growth, [and] operating profits [that] were lower than the prior year.”