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Gucci vtg pilot lawyer legal leather

The ice cream man cometh Ridiculed as an ice cream salesman when he took the reins of the Gucci Group inRobert Polet is proving that a fat bottom line is the ultimate fashion statement.

Here he prepares dinner at his home in London.

Gucci vtg pilot lawyer legal leather

When PPR appointed Polet, an industry outsider, to replace De Sole, the reaction was an outpouring of skepticism bordering on derision. Polet had spent his entire career at the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever, and many of the gibes were related to his most recent job as president of the global ice cream and frozen-foods division.

Even The New Yorker joined in, running a cartoon that showed street vendors hawking Gucci handbags from carts like snack food. But by October the big question inside PPR was this: There were already signs of change afoot, not least some new hires and an exodus of executives close to De Sole.

And then, as the session was thrown open to questions, he looked at his watch and apologized. And with that he left for the airport. Polet, 52, has made a habit of thumbing his nose at protocol. A boyish-looking Dutchman with a sunny disposition who frequently whistles in the office, he has a favorite exhortation for people who work for him: At several junctures in his career, Polet has ridden roughshod over long-established practices, at times even disobeying orders given by superiors.

That an outsider should be appointed to the top job was unusual enough in a notoriously clannish industry. Within weeks of taking over, Polet had turned the organization on its head. Polet immediately pushed authority down to each brand in the group, giving the creative and business directors a degree of autonomy exceptional in the industry.

The result has been the biggest surprise of all. Far from hastening the downfall of Gucci, as some fashionistas predicted, Polet has led the group through three years of booming sales and even faster profit growth. Gucci Group comprises ten luxury brands, eight of which, including Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, jeweler Boucheron, and couture house Yves Saint Laurent, were losing money when Polet took over.

But in a boom time for luxury goods firms, it has easily outperformed the sector. Group sales have risen by more than one-third, while operating income has more than doubled. Analysts say all the brands are now profitable except YSL, whose losses have been cut by two-thirds and which could break even within the next two years.

I find him to be open-minded, very direct, very transparent, and a fine person to do business with.

Gucci vtg pilot lawyer legal leather

Some argue that Polet is still living off the legacy of his predecessors. They hurt the group because most of its costs are in euros, but less than half its sales are in Europe; the U.

Along with its rivals, Gucci Group has reacted to the currency fluctuations by raising prices. Even with the exchange rates, there will be significant growth in Polet was a keynote speaker.

The gist of what she said: We all mocked you as the ice cream man, and you have proved us wrong. He reckons he has moved from country to country 11 times.

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PPR was looking for someone with international experience above all and a strong track record of managing brands and groups of brands. Polet had that in spades. The battle was bitter and protracted, and once it was over, PPR began to worry about what it had acquired.

He called De Sole on the day he was appointed and later visited him at his home in South Carolina. He had every reason to tread carefully: De Sole, a flamboyant lawyer who would round up staffers at the end of the day and take them out to dinner, hired many of the people still in the group and retains their affection.

He learned early lessons on the virtues of autonomy as an up-and-comer at Unilever, which put him in charge of its Malaysian operations when he was just Polet remembers how difficult the situation was: The advice that came back was simple: Take a piece of paper, write down all the options available, and pick the best one.

His boss at the time balked at the idea, but Polet went ahead anyway, secretly buying a machine and setting up a pilot line in the back of an existing factory. Liquid margarine has gone on to become a big hit. He believes in keeping it simple. Some functions, such as IT, global communications, and human resources, remain coordinated at the slimmed-down group head office in London, but everything else has been kicked down to the brands, which have full responsibility for their profits as well as their products.One of our top-rated multi-tools combines spring-action pliers, scissors and 12 other indispensable tools.

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