Burberry sacks Versace boss Jonathan Akeroyd as its new chief executive with a £6million ‘golden hello’ to cover the cost of leaving the rival brand
- Burberry has named Versace boss Jonathan Akeroyd as new chief executive
- The British brand is reportedly paying him a ‘golden hello of £6million’ to make up for the bonus and share the costs he will lose for leaving their rival
- The Briton has headed Milan-based fashion house Gianni Versace since 2016, for which he was CEO of Alexander McQueen for 12 years.
Fashion group Burberry has named Versace boss Jonathan Akeroyd as its new CEO.
The fashion giant has revealed that Mr Akeroyd, 54, will take up the position on April 1 next year, and the British brand is reportedly paying him a “golden hello of £6million” to offset the bonus and share the costs he will lose for leaving their rival.
The British citizen has headed Milan-based fashion house Gianni Versace since 2016, for which he was chief executive of Alexander McQueen for 12 years – following the death of the eponymous founder.
He replaces Marco Gobbetti, who announced unexpected plans in June to leave Burberry at the end of 2021 after nearly five years in the role.
Fashion group Burberry has named Versace boss Jonathan Akeroyd its new chief executive
The British citizen has headed Milan-based fashion house Gianni Versace since 2016 (Donatella seen in 2020)
Mr Akeroyd said: “I am honored to join Burberry as chief executive officer.
“I have long admired Burberry’s position as the most iconic British luxury brand and have a deep fondness for its storied heritage.
“I look forward to returning to London, where I built my career in the luxury industry, to join a talented team with ambitious plans for the future and a strong platform to accelerate growth.”
Jonathan is seen with his wife at the 2015 V&A McQueen exhibition
Donatella Versace and Gianni Versace pictured before his death
According to The Guardian, Jonathan will receive a welcome bonus of £6 million, a base salary of £1.1 million, an annual bonus of up to 200 percent of his base and a share plan worth 162.5% of annual salary.
The company told the publication: “These buyout prizes are in line with the type of award and the deferral schedule of prizes forfeited by Jonathan.”
Chairman Gerry Murphy will lead the group on an interim basis until Mr Akeroyd joins in April.
The Briton has headed Milan-based fashion house Gianni Versace since 2016.
Murphy said, “Jonathan is an accomplished leader with a strong track record of building global luxury fashion brands and driving profitable growth.
“He shares our values and our ambition to build on Burberry’s uniquely British creative heritage and his deep expertise in the luxury and fashion industries will be key to advancing the next phase of Burberry’s evolution.”
Mr Akeroyd joins Burberry as it emerges after a difficult time during the pandemic, in which stores were closed for months and European stores suffered from the lack of international tourists.
In the UK, about two-thirds of sales came from tourists, who were largely absent during the pandemic.
The company also suffered from the stance of the Better Cotton Initiative, of which it is a member, after the group raised concerns about allegations of forced labor camps in China’s Xinjiang cotton region.
But recent figures showed that sales returned to pre-pandemic levels in the three months to June 26, as it sold more products at full price and relied less on discounts.
Jonathan was previously CEO of Alexander McQueen for 12 years – after the death of the eponymous founder (McQueen seen in 2005 before his death)