Michael Kors has a new CEO after the surprise exit last year of Joshua Schulman, who had been leading the brand and was expected to take on the top post at parent company Capri Holdings in September. Instead, Schulman left the company in March and John Idol remained chief executive at Capri.
Now, an executive from sister company Versace is taking on the Michael Kors post. Cedric Wilmotte, who is currently the chief operating officer at Versace, will become Michael Kors’ CEO effective April 3. He has a long history at Michael Kors, spending over a decade running the brand’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division.
After that, Wilmotte moved to Versace, where he had a test run as a chief executive by serving as the brand’s interim CEO from January until September last year. Former Alexander McQueen CEO Emmanuel Gintzburger then took on the CEO post at Versace and Wilmotte moved to the chief operating officer role.
In discussing Wilmotte’s appointment as Michael Kors’ CEO, Idol praised his “deep understanding” of the brand and his “extensive retail and merchandising experience,” much of it within Capri’s own walls. Though Wilmotte also has experience at Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan.
“Cedric has proven himself to be a versatile leader within our group, having achieved great success at both Michael Kors and Versace,” Idol said in a statement. “The Board, Michael and I are confident that the Michael Kors brand will benefit tremendously from Cedric’s leadership, which will help to further accelerate our strategic initiatives. Cedric’s appointment ensures that we have three experienced and talented CEOs at each of our luxury fashion brands.”
In its most recent quarter, Michael Kors posted revenue growth of 9.2%, reaching $962 million. The business has been raising prices in a strategy aimed at elevating the brand. Michael Kors also recently launched “Michael Kors Pre-Loved,” an online marketplace for buying and selling gently used items from the brand.