Outgoing Balenciaga boss Isabelle Guichot, who was expected to remain with parent Kering, has reached an agreement to leave the French luxury and sports group, sources close to the company told Reuters. Guichot was replaced at the end of November by Cedric Charbit, previously head of merchandising at Yves Saint Laurent, one of Kering's must successful fashion brands.
When her resignation was announced in October, Kering said Guichot would stay within the group. Balenciaga has estimated annual sales of around 400 million euros ($423 million).
Her departure is the latest in an unprecedented wave of management changes at Kering in the past two years during which the group replaced the management or creative leadership or both at around 75 percent of its 15 luxury companies.
It also coincides with a severe downturn in the luxury goods sector which is forcing big brands to fight harder for market share and sales growth without the artificial boost of price hikes and new boutiques.
"It is clear that when things don't work as expected, you need to speed up management turnover," said Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca. "All the more so in a difficult market, where we expect groups to have thinner patience with under-performers."
UPDATED (9/5/2017): French apparel company SMCP Group has named Isabelle Guichot chief executive officer of the fashion brand Maje, WWD has learned, signaling the company’s intention to step up business abroad. SMCP CEO Daniel Lalonde cited Guichot’s experience in the luxury sphere, saying that the choice reflected “our ambition to spread Parisian chic across the world.”