MILAN — Diesel is promoting Eraldo Poletto to the top corner office.
The Italian company, controlled by OTB, has named Poletto global chief executive officer of the brand, succeeding Massimo Piombini. The appointment is effective July 1.
In January, Poletto joined Diesel as CEO of North America, succeeding Patrick Valeo. This role will now be taken over by Donald Kohler, who has held key positions such as president of Burberry Americas, CEO Americas and chief retail officer at Salvatore Ferragamo and president of Ann Taylor Group.
The U.S. and Canada are key markets for Diesel owner Renzo Rosso, who is planning to further strengthen the brand’s presence in the region through the opening of new stores in strategic locations.
Poletto was appointed CEO and brand president of Stuart Weitzman, controlled by Tapestry Inc., in 2018, a role he held for two years.
Before that, he was CEO Of Salvatore Ferragamo, which he joined in August 2016 and exited in March 2018, where he aimed to reinvigorate the late founder’s original modernity, harmonizing everything with marketing and merchandising. He focused on reviewing the brand’s network of stores without changing the concept of the locations, but making adjustments to the layout or the design, all intended to improve functionality and performance. He wanted to simplify the collections and he pushed forward the launch of a new website to make it more functional and capable of being used as a social media tool.
Prior to Ferragamo, Poletto served as CEO of Furla from 2010 to 2016 and helped grow and globalize that family-owned brand.
He also has an extensive knowledge of the U.S. market. From 1997 to 2010 he served in a variety of roles at Retail Brand Alliance, then-parent of Brooks Brothers, including as president of strategic development and international business and chief merchandising officer.
In addition to Diesel, OTB comprises Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sander, Viktor & Rolf and a minority stake in Amiri, as well as production arms Staff International and Brave Kid.
In 2021, OTB turnover, including royalties, totaled 1.53 billion euros (excluding non-recurring revenues of 130 million euros), up 16.2 percent compared with 1.31 billion euros in 2020 and in line with 1.53 billion euros in 2019.
Net sales totaled 1.45 billion euros, up 18 percent compared with 2020.
In February, as reported, OTB CEO Ubaldo Minelli touted the evolution of Diesel in the first year under the creative direction of Martens, “setting the foundations for a new development phase that will place the brand in the alternative luxury segment, and that is generating the interest of international clients.”
Diesel, after a reorganization and repositioning of its retail and wholesale channels, continues to be a core business for OTB, representing last year 45 percent of the total.
The first concept store designed by Martens was unveiled at the end of last year in SoHo in New York.
Rosso has also pointed to the importance of the online channel, which for Diesel accounts for 15 percent of sales, through the direct platform and for 15 percent through indirect sales.
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