Benetton chooses Fiat man as marketing boss

Italian fashion retailer Benetton has appointed Maximo Ibarra as marketing director as part of a restructure of its senior management team. It follows the appointment of former head of Fiat Financial Services Silvano Cassano as chief executive in April.

Ibarra, who also joins Benetton from Fiat, where he was business strategy and development manager for the financial and mobility unit, is working with Cassano on a new strategy for the group, which is likely to be announced this autumn.

Ibarra is expected to review the group’s advertising, which is handled in house, and it is predicted that there may be a shift away from the controversial issue-led campaigns that made Benetton famous during the Nineties.

Cassano was appointed following the departure of Luigi de Puppi, who left after the sale of the group’s sporting equipment arm. It also coincides with a decision by the Benetton family to step back from the daily management of the business. Luciano Benetton is retaining his position as chairman, but it is not a hands-on position.

Cassano, who took over the role on May 5, is planning to bring the retailer’s focus back to its core clothing business, which also includes the Sisley brand.

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