Chairman Del Vecchio to take control of Luxottica as CEO Guerra steps down

The pair had a disagreement over the strategy of the business

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The Independent Online

One of Italy’s richest and most famous businessmen is set to take control of the sunglasses maker he founded more than fifty years ago.

Leonardo Del Vecchio, the 79-year-old chairman of Ray-Ban and Persol sunglasses group Luxottica, had a disagreement with chief executive Andrea Guerra over the strategy of the business.

A board meeting, held today, is set to agree that Mr Del Vecchio will become executive chairman and the chief executive role will be split in two with chief financial officer Enrico Cavatorta taking on one of the roles.

Mr Guerra, who stepped down as chief executive last night, had run the brand for ten years but last month reports emerged that the pair had disagreed. Some suggested Mr Guerra’s plan to become a minister in the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had sparked the row, while others said the fall out was over the company’s strategy as it had recently announced a partnership with Google to develop fashionable versions of Google’s smart eyewear - Google Glass.

Mr Del Vecchio is considered to be Italy’s second-richest man with a fortune of around €20bn.

Under Mr Guerra sales at the eyewear business have more than doubled to €7.3 bn. It is the world's biggest eyewear group and owns brands as well as manufacturing glasses for other companies.