According to a source familiar with the situation, Prada is set to hire former Luxottica CEO Andrea Guerra in a top management role to ease the transition to the next generation of the founding family.
Founded as a leather goods shop in Milan in 1913 by designer Miuccia Prada’s grandfather and brother, Hong Kong-listed Prada has grown into a group with 365 directly operated stores as of end-2021 and yearly revenues of 3.7 billion euros ($3.8 billion), with 40% coming from the Asia Pacific region.
Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli, 76, said a year ago that he planned to hand over the reins of the group he leads with wife Miuccia to their 34-year-old son Lorenzo after overseeing a successful turnaround since 2017 to reverse a sales slide.
Lorenzo, Prada’s marketing chief, joined the company’s board in May 2021, months before his father told investors in November that he could take over as CEO in “three to four years.”
Prada, like many other Italian business dynasties, has been planning ahead and seeking a senior figure to work alongside Lorenzo while he gains experience in the field, according to another person close to the matter.
Lorenzo, widely regarded as a quick learner, joined the family business in 2017 as head of digital communication. According to the first source, Prada is finalizing an agreement with Guerra to hire the 57-year-old manager, who stepped down as head of the hotel’s division at luxury goods conglomerate LVMH earlier this year.
Prada and Guerra did not respond to the news. Guerra oversaw a more than doubling in sales at Luxottica, the spectacles manufacturer that has been producing and distributing eyeglasses under the Prada group’s Prada and Miu Miu brands since 2003.
Massimo Vian, a veteran Luxottica executive who was hired by Guerra in 2005 and later became the company’s head of operations, will join Prada as a chief operating officer in 2020. “We believe Guerra would bring invaluable experience and significant gravitas to the Prada senior management team,” said Jefferies, adding that the market would welcome progress on succession plans.
On the creative front, Prada hired Belgian designer Raf Simons to share the directorship with Miuccia in 2020. Simons announced last week that he would close his eponymous label, a move seen as a prelude to fully taking over from Miuccia.
Prada is considering a Milan listing to broaden its investor base, according to two additional sources briefed on the matter, eleven years after its Hong Kong market debut. Because Prada would not sell new or existing shares, the move would not generate any cash or reduce the family’s 80 percent stake. Prada could announce Guerra’s arrival as early as January, according to the Italian daily la Repubblica.