The Gucci Group is a popular company, which consists of a lot of different brands, which are separately advertised and positioned in the market. Recently the management and, therefore, the way of business of the company have changed. Thus, the main aim of this paper is to compare and to contradict the management styles applied by current CEO of Gucci brand Robert Polet, and his predecessor Domenico DeSole. Moreover, the efficiency of their work has been evaluated in order to give some recommendations for developing the Gucci Group.
Differences between DeSole’s and Robert Polet’s Management Style
The management styles of two CEOs are quite specific and distinctive. Domenico DeSole’s management style can be described as too autocratic and centralized. He concentrated the power of decision-making in his and Ford’s, the head designer, hands. He was responsible for business issues, while Ford corresponded for creative issues. The head designer was given too much independence in his work making serious decisions on his own.
Unlike DeSole, Polet involved himself entirely in decision-making on the level of Gucci and Gucci Group. De Sole’s main sphere of orientation was developing pricing strategies, managing the retail network, and working on other business-related issues.
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DeSole’s vision of the brands included to the Gucci Group was based on separating them as much as possible, sharing responsibilities between the brands managers. The usage of common strategies and actions for production, supplying, and pricing was minimized. On the contrary, Polet tried to unionize the brands and to make them more connected to each other. All secrets and strategies are discussed between different brands and departments. Even thought Polet retained DeSole’s management structure, he made the different divisions of the Gucci Group more unionized. However, the brands that are included to the Group still compete with each other since the design, innovation, sales, and creation issues are separated. It helps the departments to develop and constantly evolve. One of the key prerequisite for Polet’s decision to leave the competition between the brands is keeping the brands separate in the customers’ mind.
Polet used the same organization structure as DeSole, although he changed it radically by making it more liberate and giving more autonomy of choice to the employees. Polet’s management vision is based on the maximal freedom, which does not exceed the framework and limits set by the chief management. The employees are authorized to make their own decisions as long as they do not contradict with the Group’s and the brands’ DNAs, the clients orientation, and financial issues. Polet stimulates the key brands’ executives to make decisions and to choose the business orientation lines. He welcomes the initiative and outstanding ideas from every employee encouraging democracy and a liberal discipline.
Another distinctive feature of Polet’s management style is being more customer-oriented than DeSole. Polet evolved customer relationship management (CRM) and increased its influence in the decision-making process. Polet is a strict and radical leader, who implied a lot of his radical ideas into practice. For instance, he suggested for the Group to use a common customer relationship management system, which means sharing information between brands inside the Gucci Group in different regions.
Similarities between Domenico DeSole’s and Robert Polet’s Management Style
Management styles of DeSole and Polet are contradictory in different aspects, although there are some similar features. For instance, Polet and DeSole were using the same organisation structure and had the same vision for the basic Group’s development.
Moreover, both of them paid a lot of attention to integrating with all the Gucci Group’s employees in order to build a strong company. Visiting local stores and communicating with employees was a common practice for DeSole and Polet. The idea the CEOs had in mind was encouraging employees and showing their work and opinion is valued.
The Efficiency of Polet and DeSole’s Management
Polet and DeSole are two successful managers, who developed the Gucci Group by applying their unique business strategies. They had a strong vision about the business direction for the Group to follow. DeSole’s management system was remarkably efficient. He gave Gucci another life making it profitable and famous in five years. Nevertheless, his business vision showed some weaknesses when it led to the French company PPR taking control over the Gucci Group. Polet’s management activity helped the Gucci Group to increase its revenues and profitability. However, his decentralized management style was the key to success. DeSole’s main input was the introduction of the new organization structure. However, the change of managers is positive for Gucci since Polet is a stronger leader with a direct focus on customer relationship management and work autonomy for the employees.
Recommendations for Developing the Gucci Group
Being a successful organization, the Gucci Group still has some opportunities for further development. First of all, the Group should continue the policy of providing luxury items at high prices in order not to cheapen the brand. Secondly, the Group should introduce few new, quite different from the existent, brands to increase profits during next five years. Finally, the Group needs to start focusing at the Far East markets, especially China, Russia, Korea and Japan. The region is highly promising for the company since the sales there kept stable even during the world crisis and the noticeable slowdown in Europe.
Therefore, the management styles of DeSole and Polet are totally different. Their main differences are connected to the work autonomy, and the connections between the brands inside the Gucci Group. Similarities between their styles of management are regarding The Gucci Group’s organization structure, the business vision that they had, and the idea about integrating with employees. The change of leaders was necessary for Gucci since the new CEO had more efficient ideas. Polet’s vision about the business strategy and courses of direction for the Gucci Group development was clearer. Obviously, it was highly supported with his liberal approach.