EssilorLuxottica Begins Search for CEO

EssilorLuxottica has retained two recruitment agencies to begin the search for CEO candidates. The move is a step toward fulfilling the merger agreement to find and appoint a CEO by the end of 2020.
EssilorLuxottica announced today that “the EssilorLuxottica Nomination and Compensation Committee has retained two recruitment agencies to assist in finding candidates— according to the “best fit for the job” principle—to serve as CEO and to be appointed by the end of 2020.”
The committee made the decision after consultation with the Executive Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio and the Executive Vice Chairman Hubert Sagnières. The move is in line with the agreement reached between Delfin (Luxottica’s holding company) and Essilor prior to the closing of the Essilor and Luxottica merger,
The two agencies to lead the executive search are Russell Reynolds Associates and Eric Salmon & Partners. They will handle evaluations of both internal and external candidates. Russell Reynolds Associates will coordinate the process.
The future choice of a CEO for the merged entity made the news recently as Del Vecchio and Sagnières argued in the media amid accusations of takeover bids and power grabs. Read EB’s reporting of that here.
According to the merger agreement, the future CEO will be agreed and proposed to the Board of Directors for joint appointment by both the executive chairman and the executive vice chairman and recommended by the Nomination and Compensation Committee.
The selected candidate will initially be appointed as “Directeur Général Délégué” (roughly translated to “Managing Director”) and will be in charge of coordinating the activities of EssilorLuxottica as a pure holding and assisting the executive chairman and the executive vice chairman in their efforts to facilitate the integration of Essilor and Luxottica.
According to the merger agreement, the powers of the “Directeur Général Délégué” will be defined by the EssilorLuxottica Board of Directors based on the joint recommendation of the executive chairman and the executive vice chairman. In the meantime, both the operating companies, Luxottica and Essilor, will remain separate legal entities fully empowered to run their own business autonomously and under their own leaderships and CEOs with certain exceptions.
Susan Tarrant