Gucci Group announced key appointments in the management and design team at Bottega Veneta, the Italian luxury leather goods company internationally renowned for its "Intrecciato" woven leather handbags and accessories.

Bottega Veneta appointed Patrizio di Marco as CEO, Tomas Maier as creative director, Francesco Giannaccari as CFO, and Gabriella Di Carlo as commercial director. All appointments take effect immediately.

Patrizio di Marco joined Bottega Veneta as COO in May 2001 from Celine, where he was president of the US operations. He brings extensive knowledge of the global luxury markets, gained in his previous roles at Prada and LVMH in America, Japan and Hong Kong.

Tomas Maier becomes creative director of Bottega Veneta with a wealth of experience in the design of women's and men's ready-to-wear and accessories. Prior to joining Bottega Veneta, Maier worked for Hermes, Sonia Rykiel, Revillon and Iceberg as well as on his own collection, which he will continue.

Francesco Giannaccari joined Gucci in 1997 as controller - Europe and became CFO - Europe in 1998. Gabriella Di Carlo joins Bottega Veneta as commercial director from Fendi, where she held a similar position since 1999. Di Carlo brings a twenty-year international experience in the luxury leather goods industry with a broad knowledge of the global leather goods and shoe market.

Commenting on these appointments at Bottega Veneta, Domenico De Sole, president and CEO of Gucci Group, said: ``Patrizio, Tomas, Francesco and Gabriella bring tremendous expertise to Bottega Veneta in their respective fields. This is important as we pursue our plans to develop Bottega Veneta as a leading luxury accessory brand worldwide. These appointments also show the ability of our Group to continue to attract top design and management talent.''