Jonathan Akeroyd was announced as the new chief executive of Gianni Versace SpA in May 2016. Vice president and artistic director Donatella Versace said in a statement, "Jonathan brings a proven track record in building global brands, steering growth and driving strategic development... [his] industry expertise and vision will be key to advancing the next phase of Versace's development." Akeroyd joins the brand at a crucial stage, as it seeks to capitalise on its newly found creative momentum and the effects of the €210 million cash injection raised from The Blackstone Group in 2014. Many believe that Versace is working towards an IPO.
Today, the consolidated Versace brand encompasses four lines: Atelier Versace, a couture line shown in Paris; Versace, which produces ready-to-wear collections for men and women; Versus, a contemporary line designed by Donatella Versace; and, Versace Jeans — a licensed casualwear line.
Prior to his appointment as chief executive officer of Versace, Akeroyd was the chief executive of Alexander McQueen. Appointed in 2004 he successfully steered the brand’s growth and strategic development through one of its most turbulent periods. Having helped the brand to break even less than three years after his appointment, Akeroyd has since overseen one of the brands most profitable periods, driven by the launch of an accessories range, the McQ diffusion line and in 2010, the successful appointment of Sarah Burton as creative director, following the death of Alexander McQueen.
In 2013 Akeroyd announced the brand’s strategic partnership with P&G Prestige to develop fragrances under the Alexander McQueen label. Akeroyd has also driven the brand’s extensive store expansion with new flagships launched in Beijing, Shanghai, San Francisco, Miami and Hong Kong since 2011. The first McQ store was also launched on London’s Dover Street in 2012, followed by a flagship menswear store on Saville Row.
Akeroyd’s career in retail began while working as a store manager at Harrods luxury department store in London. Over the course of fifteen years the experienced retailer steadily rose through the ranks as director of merchandising, before being approached by Gucci Group to take the helm at Alexander McQueen.