Le Printemps department store parts ways with CEO Paolo de Cesare
The tenure of the CEO of Le Printemps has ended. Paolo de Cesare, who took charge of the French department store group in 2007, stepped down on February 28, after a little over 12 years at the helm. The decision was taken by Le Printemps’s supervisory board, now seeking a replacement for de Cesare who will be able to steer the group through the retail sector’s crisis, and initiate a genuine overhaul of the company.
The decision “followed the acknowledgement of the difficulties experienced in the last few years by the retail sector, both internationally and especially in France, and of the need to put in place a new leadership, in order to accelerate and bring to fruition the development plan of Le Printemps, an ambitious plan that is strongly backed by its shareholders.”
Le Printemps said that it is currently building the foundations for its future growth, notably by “refocusing our in-store product selection, broadening our sales channels by introducing e-tail, rationalising our costs and expanding internationally.” On the e-tail side, Le Printemps is due to launch its first e-shop soon, a project long in the making that is finally taking shape.
The group has no longer had a presence outside France since 2017, and it recently appointed Italian executive Mauro Grimaldi (formerly with Emilio Pucci) as CEO of Le Printemps International. Grimaldi is tasked with opening between five and 10 branches outside France by 2030, including two in Doha in 2020, and one in Milan the following year.
The Le Printemps group, which in the 2018-19 financial year generated sales worth €1.7 billion, hired Paolo de Cesare in 2007, when the group was sold by PPR (now Kering) to its new shareholders, Deutsche Bank and the Borletti Group. Rome-born de Cesare, who worked 24 years at Procter & Gamble, continued to lead the group after it changed hands again, when a pool of Qatari investors acquired a majority stake in 2013.
Under de Cesare, Le Printemps upgraded its stores in and outside Paris, and tested new retail concepts, for example hosting labels’ shops within the department store branches, like Uniqlo and Maisons du Monde at the Printemps Nation branch.
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