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Fabio Massimo Cacciatori quits Versace CEO

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Milan -- Three months on his Versace reign, Fabio Massimo Cacciatori has resigned as chief executive of the Italian fashion powerhouse due to disputes with the Versace family. Daniele Ballestrazzi, Versace's current chief financial officer, will take over position as the interim chief executive officer.

Cacciatori was appointed as interim chief executive with a role to revive and boost Versace's financial status to put it back on the frontline with rivals Gucci Group and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. The company, which lost some $6.4 million last year, is expected to continue the deficit in 2003. Speculation for the loss sourced from the turbulent political warfare and the Sars outbreak that directly influenced the level of consumption in the global luxury goods market.

With a sum of 120 boutiques and 90 franchise stores around the globe, Versace operates on a high cost base, which Cacciatori has been assigned to reduce and to maximize returns by strategic means such as "selling the property and lease it back." Other plans included were boutique closures, staff retrenchments as well as advertising cuts. The current mainstream campaign for the company features popular songstress Christina Aguilera.


The resignation of Cacciatori also marked the second departure of Versace's high-ranking officers this year, after former general manager Giovanni Galbiati who left in March.

The history of Versace began with Gianni Versace, a world-renowned fashion pioneer who was assassinated before his house in 1997. After his death, Donatella assumes creative direction while Santo undertakes the company's overall operations.

"The company thanks Fabio for his efforts and commitment in the past nine months," expressed Donatella. "We look forward to implementing the next phase of the company's restructuring process."
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