Having served as chairman and chief executive officer of Kering Group (formerly PPR) since March 2005, French business mogul François-Henri Pinault has spearheaded a successful restructuring that has seen the conglomerate reposition itself squarely within the luxury and sportswear markets. The advances have seen the group report revenues of €9.7 billion at the end of 2012.
Having shed the group’s interests within the mass distribution sector, Pinault has ushered in a new era for Kering, adding emerging designers such as Christopher Kane and Altuzzara to its influential portfolio of established labels including Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent.
Mr Pinault has also expanded his activities within the luxury accessories sector through the acquisition of brands such as Qeelin and Pomellato, while the group’s sportswear division has seen the acquisition of lifestyle brands such as Puma, Volcom and Electric.
In 2013, Pinault rebranded the group’s name from PPR to Kering, re-emphasising the group’s new direction and break from past activities. Pinault has also overseen the group’s active participation with digital technology, entering into a joint venture with Yoox.com to develop the luxury brands' e-commerce capabilities and introducing a Digital Academy to help foster innovations within the group.
An alumnus of the prestigious HEC Business School in Paris, Pinault began his career at PPR in 1987, rising to become manager of the company’s buying department in 1988. Following a series of executive positions at FNAC and CFAO, Pinault was named deputy chief executive officer of PPR's digital strategy in February 2000, overseeing the launch of PPR Interactive. In May 2003, Pinault was elected vice president of the board, taking the position of chairman of the board in 2005, succeeding his father François Pinault.
An active philanthropist, in 2011 Pinault implemented a wide range of ecological and social initiatives, including environmental profit-and-loss statements and sustainable python farming. He also serves as chairman of Kering’s Corporate Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights and is a Supervisory Board member of ELA (a European NGO campaigning for research in leukodystrophy).