Christopher Bailey, the man who changed Burberry from an ageing British brand into an elite fashion company, is leaving the company.
Investors lauded his creative vision after he transformed Burberry’s fortunes, but were unimpressed when he took over the role as chief executive from Angela Ahrendts after she left for Apple in 2014.
Last year Mr Bailey’s commercial responsibilities were taken over by Marco Gobbetti, who arrived from luxury brand Céline after a slowdown in sales at Burberry which saw profits slip.
Mr Bailey said at the time he was “looking forward to working closely” with Mr Gobbetti in a “wonderfully collaborative partnership”.
Mr Bailey took a 75% pay cut in the move, after it was claimed he failed to tackle slowing demand from China and Hong Kong, which account for roughly 40% of sales. He stayed on as chief creative officer.
‘Best days still to come’
Announcing his departure, Mr Bailey told Vogue magazine it had been a great privilege to work with “such an extraordinary group of people”.
“Burberry encapsulates so much of what is great about Britain,” he said in a statement. “As an organisation, it is creative, innovative and outward looking.”
Bailey also said he believes Burberry’s best days were still to come and the company would “go from strength to strength with the strategy we have developed and the exceptional talent we have in place led by Marco (Gobbetti).”
Shares in Burberry fell 0.6% on the announcment.