MArco Gobbetti was hired by Burberry to solve a boardroom crisis – the uncomfortable reign as CEO of Christopher Bailey, who was clearly better suited to be the creative boss. By jumping early, however, he caused another. Burberry does not have a succession plan, as far as is known, which is not ideal when one constantly talks about the UK’s leading fashion house as a candidate for takeover.
Burberry’s uneasiness could be seen in its effort to describe Gobbetti’s time as “almost” five years with the company. It depends on how you count it. He became Managing Director almost exactly four years ago after a six-month prep tour of Asia. More relevant, he launched his five-year plan in November 2017, so even if he stays until the end of this year, he will only have overseen four years of a five-year overhaul, which is not all. made a full turn of the catwalk.
Gobbetti’s wish to be closer to his family in Italy is assumed to be genuine as the company he joins, Salvatore Ferragamo, is roughly a third the size of Burberry. Or maybe the Italians offered to pay him more.
Either way, Gerry Murphy, the president of Burberry, seems to have been taken aback by the events. His first task will be to establish whether Riccardo Tisci, the designer hired by Gobbetti after the dream partnership planned with Bailey has not lasted, stays or leaves. For the CEO job, it’s assumed that Burberry will want a Gobbetti lookalike – a commercial operator focused on the high-end of the fashion league where profit margins are the best.
If that means picking someone up from a continental European fashion house, the process may not be quick. The fashion industry is also a personality enterprise with corresponding salaries. Burberry shares fell 9%, a severe reaction to an individual’s departure but a reflection of anxiety in the ranks of shareholders. The company always makes a drama of the succession. The difference this time is that no one seems to have seen it coming.
FCA’s cryptocurrency crackdown lacks bite
The Financial Conduct Authority’s crackdown on one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges may seem like a strong regulatory intervention. In reality, it is a demonstration of the difficulty of forcing an operator with multiple international tentacles.
The only entity that has been ordered to stop regulated activities in the UK is Binance Markets Limited, the UK subsidiary. As Binance happily pointed out, and as the FCA concedes, nothing prevents UK customers from using the main Binance.com website, which is not registered in the UK. Indeed, this may already be the place where UK punters have transacted; It’s hard to say.
The FCA decision highlights concerns of global regulators about the increase in cryptocurrency trading – or more specifically the potential for money laundering. The clearance Binance Markets Limited sought in the UK until it withdrew its application in May required stringent money laundering controls in place. The UK regulator, like others elsewhere, seems appalled at the standards of the crypto-trading industry.
The most difficult thing is to achieve coordination between global regulators. Binance says it’s a company without a head office, so it’s a challenge even to know where to send a rigid letter. It is assumed that regulators will eventually win their battle to regulate – but this latest episode is just a skirmish.
UK joins battery race
Prepare for a ministerial fanfare when Nissan, as seems likely this week, unveils plans to build a new battery “gigafactory” in Sunderland. And, to be fair, it will be a milestone – Britain’s first major investment in batteries that will power the automotive industry’s electric revolution.
Don’t assume, however, that the UK is leading this race. The auto industry is always political and the EU also grants subsidies to car manufacturers, knowing that decisions made now will affect investment choices for decades.
Nissan’s move will take the UK off the grid and likely allow the government to argue that its £ 500million funding pot to encourage the production of electric batteries can make a difference; many foreigners were skeptical on this point. But Nissan, attached to Sunderland after its Brexit swing, has never been in doubt. The other major car manufacturers should be watched.