Tuesday, 15 July 2014

From Designer to CEO: Christopher Bailey

There was an uproar in the fashion world last week. It even made national news.

Shareholders at Burberry, one of Britain’s most established fashion brands, caused a wave of disagreeing twitters when creative director, Christopher Bailey, took over as CEO last week. The centre argument is Bailey’s lack of CEO experience, but surely his Burberry knowledge and experience is more than satisfactory?

Designer Bailey came to the attention of Burberry in 2000 and has since made a lasting impression in the revitalisation of the brand. But his take over as boss of Burberry has caused a split in opinions amongst the industry.

Burberry’s previous head, Angela Ahrenhets announced her move from the £6bn fashion company to Apple last year, leaving her top seat empty. The simple move from Chief Creative Designer to CEO for Bailey was approved by Burberry’s chairman, Sir John Pearce. 

One question I ask, why all the fuss?

Bailey knows the brand from the stitching to the fashion week events, he’s earned his stripes from humble designer to the prestigious Chief Creative Designer.  I say, surely anyone with such in depth knowledge of the brand is the ideal, and if not the candidate.

The sticking point is with the shareholders. Investors were furious to find out that nearly £20m worth of free shares have been given to Bailey over the past few years, without significant reason. Further to this, his pay packet has been heavily criticised for running too high alongside his substantial share value.

Despite this, Bailey’s been praised by the fashion heavies, in both Burberry and further afield, for his leadership and creative talents. His dedication and unwavering love for the brand is obvious, from his designs to the detailed planning of campaigns.  If his previous  work is anything to go by, Burberry is sure to be in safe hands. 

What's your opinion on this? Do you think Bailey will make a good CEO? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Rhiannon xx

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