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President and Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey to transition from Burberry


Burberry today announces that Christopher Bailey will leave the Company at the end of 2018.

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 31 March 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 31 December 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.

Christopher became CEO and Chief Creative Officer in May 2014. In this joint role, he continued to push boundaries and led the ongoing elevation of the brand. He has also built a highly talented and experienced creative team, capable of the constant re-invention that Burberry is known for.

Christopher worked with the Board to put in place a new leadership structure and in July was succeeded as CEO by Marco Gobbetti. Since then, Marco and Christopher have worked together to shape an ambition and a strategy for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand. They have also strengthened the leadership team.

Marco understands and supports Christopher's decision and will now begin the process of finding a successor.

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."

Christopher Bailey, 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, 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."

Financial Information:

Full details of all payments made to and receivable by Christopher Bailey in respect of his services as a director of the Company will be disclosed in the Directors' Remuneration Report within the Company's Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018, and subsequent year, as appropriate.

To note the following:

  • For the period of continued employment to 31 December 2018 Christopher Bailey will receive, in accordance with his service agreement, his salary, pension and contractual cash allowance and non-cash benefits.
  • He will receive a bonus for the year ended 31 March 2018, subject to performance determination and payable in July 2018.  No bonus will be paid in respect of the period April to December 2018.
  • The final tranche of the 2013 exceptional award will vest in accordance with its terms in July 2018.
  • The first tranche of the 2015 Executive Share Plan (ESP) and the second tranche of the 2014 Restricted Share Plan award will vest, subject to performance determination in the case of the ESP award, in July 2018.
  • Christopher Bailey has agreed to waive the remainder of his ESP awards and his remaining RSP award other than those referred to above.
  • Christopher Bailey has agreed to waive the pro-rated portion of the second tranche of the 2014 exceptional performance-based award and the third tranche of the 2014 exceptional performance-based award to reflect that he only served as CEO of the Company from 1 April to 5 July of the 2017/18 performance year. The pro-rated portion of the second tranche of the award is subject to performance for the period up to 5 July 2017 when he ceased to be CEO and will vest in accordance with its terms in July 2018. 

The information communicated in this announcement is inside information.


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