Gucci Case Study

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Harvard Business School 9-701-037 Rev. May 10, 2001 Gucci Group N.V. (A) Historically, fashion was viewed like movies. We made it a business. -Domenico De Sole, CEO, Gucci Group Domenico De Sole seated himself at the wenge-and-steel conference table in his London office, a few steps from Bond Street, home to the most glittering names in the luxury world. It was a springlike morning in February 2000, and several blocks away, eager shoppers were already streaming into Gucci’s newly renovated store. But De Sole had more than handbag sales on his mind. Over the past five years, De Sole, whose geniality cloaked a steely will, had led the effort to transform a moribund brand into a…show more content…
These were golden years for Gucci. The trademark red-and-green striped webbing and GG logo became known worldwide, and glamorous clients, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Grace Kelly, sported Gucci’s horsebit loafers and carried bamboo- handled Gucci bags. Gucci’s troubles began in the 1970s as internal feuding wracked the firm. Much of the turmoil centered on conflict between Aldo and Rodolfo Gucci, the founder’s surviving sons, and the younger generation over strategy and control. In 1980, after twice being fired by his relatives, Aldo’s son Paolo tried to launch a series of products under his own name. The company moved to block his venture, and lawsuits flew back and forth. The most dramatic consequence was the 1986 sentencing of family patriarch Aldo Gucci to a year in prison for tax evasion in the United States. The charges stemmed from evidence Paolo had revealed in his efforts to force the rest of the family to back down. The Last Gucci: Act 1 Rodolfo Gucci died in 1983, leaving his 50% stake in the company to his son Maurizio. One year later, Maurizio Gucci seized control of Gucci, with the support of his cousin Paolo, who like each of his two brothers, held 11%. (Aldo Gucci owned the remaining 17%.) Maurizio Gucci was determined to transform Gucci into a modern retail organization. One of his first moves was to name Domenico De Sole, a trusted legal adviser, as

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