Blog: Leonie BarrieHugo Boss to lose its boss

Leonie Barrie | 15 February 2008

The surprise departure of Hugo Boss AG’s long-time CEO has sparked a raft of speculation about the reasons for his decision to leave Germany’s largest clothing company at the end of this month.

The firm will only say it’s due to “different views on the further business policy of the company.”

But the timing, less than six months after private equity firm Permira bought Hugo Boss’ parent, Italy's Valentino Fashion Group SpA, has led speculation over a clash with the new owner.

At the time of the $3.5bn takeover last September, analysts suggested that Permira might intend to merge Hugo Boss with the rest of the Valentino group. Even though this wasn’t confirmed, Permira made no secret of the fact it wanted to broaden the labels’ appeal and customer base.

There’s no doubt Dr Bruno Sälzer will be missed. He’s been with the company for nearly 13 years – the last five in the top spot - and led the luxury brand's international vision and introduction of a women's wear line, the latter helping drive a 20% rise in full year profit in figures released last week.

Hugo Boss CEO to leave


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