Thélios Appoints New CEO
Former Luxottica executive Alessandro Zanardo succeeds Giovanni Zoppas who exited the eyewear manufacturer controlled by LVMH last May.
Alessandro ZanardoBEN DAUCHEZ - IMAGE COURTESY OF LVMH
MILAN — Italian eyewear manufacturer Thélios is banking on a new chief executive officer with substantial experience in the industry.
Former Luxottica Group executive Alessandro Zanardo has been appointed to the role effective immediately.
Thélios is controlled by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and the internal announcement of Zanardo’s arrival was made by Andrea Guerra, CEO of LVMH Hospitality Excellence and a member of the LVMH executive committee.
The group emphasized Zanardo’s “leadership skills, forward-thinking vision and extensive experience in large organizations,” seen as “key to maintain Thélios in a sustainable major player position in the eyewear industry.”
Zanardo started his career with Ferrari in 2002. He then joined Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in 2007. Between 2010 and 2021, he held a series of positions at Luxottica Group, ranging from business development director in Russia and country manager in South Africa, to general manager in Brazil.
He is a graduate of the SDA Bocconi University, with an MBA in international economics, and holds a degree in economics and management form the same prestigious Milan institution.
LVMH took full control of Thélios last December after agreeing to purchase Marcolin’s 49 percent stake in the company for an undisclosed sum. Separately, Marcolin bought back the 10 percent stake LVMH owned in that Italian company.
The step allowed LVMH to further strengthen its presence in the eyewear industry, leveraging on Thélios’ expertise. Thélios produces for Dior, Fendi, Celine, Loewe, Stella McCartney, Kenzo, Fred, Berluti and Rimowa.
As reported in September, Givenchy was the latest LVMH brand to join the Thélios portfolio, beginning in January.
Thélios began operating in 2018, a joint venture between LVMH, which at the time had a 51 percent stake, with Marcolin owning the remainder.
The year 2021 saw the arrival of Dior in January, and Fendi in July, bowing for fall 2021.
The general consensus is that Thélios will gradually produce eyewear collections for most, if not all, the brands under the LVMH umbrella. Thélios also partly produces for Louis Vuitton, whose eyewear is sold only through its own boutiques.
Thélios employs 800 people, with 600 of them in Italy, and production spans more than 194,400 square feet.
The state-of-the-art plant in Longarone, a one-hour drive from Venice, was inaugurated in 2018.
Its former CEO Giovanni Zoppas exited in May to join Tecnica Group, which specializes in outdoor footwear and ski equipment.