LUXURY goods group Burberry today announced that Halifax-born Christopher Bailey, its president and chief creative officer, will leave the company at the end of 2018.
In a statement, Burberry said: “As Burberry begins the next decade of its journey, Christopher has concluded that after 17 years it will be the right time for him to pursue new creative projects.
“Christopher will remain president and chief creative officer until March 31 2018, when he will step down from the board. He will provide his full support to chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti and the team on the transition until December 31 2018.
“Since joining in 2001, Christopher has been a driving force behind Burberry’s transformation. In that time, Burberry has grown from a small licensed outerwear business to become one of the world’s largest and most admired global luxury brands”
Marco Gobbetti, chief executive officer, commented: “Burberry has undergone an incredible transformation since 2001 and Christopher has been instrumental to the company’s success in that period.
"While I am sad not to have the opportunity to partner with him for longer, the legacy he leaves and the exceptional talent we have at Burberry give me enormous confidence in our future.
"We have a clear vision for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand and I am excited about the opportunity ahead for our teams, our partners and our shareholders.”
Halifax-born Mr Bailey, the president and chief creative officer, said: “It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years. Burberry encapsulates so much of what is great about Britain.
"As an organisation, it is creative, innovative and outward looking. It celebrates diversity and challenges received wisdoms.
“It is over 160 years old, but it has a young spirit. It is part of the establishment, but it is always changing, and always learning.
"It has been a truly inspiring place to work and the decision to leave was not an easy one.
"I do truly believe, however, that Burberry’s best days are still ahead of her and that the company will go from strength to strength with the strategy we have developed and the exceptional talent we have in place led by Marco.
“I would like to thank all my colleagues as well as Sir John Peace and the Board for all their support and faith in me over the years.
"I am excited to pursue new creative projects but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition.”
Sir John Peace, the chairman, commented: “Christopher is a unique talent and an exceptional person and I would like to thank him personally for his part in transforming Burberry.
“He has been a great partner to me and he leaves the company in the very best of hands, with a strong team and culture in place, led by Marco as CEO. I have total confidence that Marco’s vision and leadership, with the excellent management team in place, will keep Burberry on the forefront creatively, digitally and financially, creating further value for shareholders in the next exciting stage of our evolution.”