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Chairman of EssilorLuxottica Leonardo del Vecchio expires at 87, local media reports

Chairman of EssilorLuxottica Leonardo del Vecchio expires at 87

June 28, 2022: -On Monday, the chairman of spectacles maker EssilorLuxottica and one of Italy’s richest business formations, Leonardo del Vecchio, passed away at 87, his company said.

“EssilorLuxottica declares today that its chairman has passed away,” the group said in a statement, counting that the board would meet to “determine the future steps.”

Del Vecchio increased from a childhood in an orphanage to amass a fortune of tens of billions of euros in one of the huge famous rags-to-riches stories of the post-war financial recovery of Italy.

“Leonardo Del Vecchio was a huge Italian. His story, from orphanage to leadership of a business empire, looks like such a story from another time. But it is a great instance for today and tomorrow. RIP,” European Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni tweeted.

The Italian businessman-based Luxottica in 1961 built up a company that owns the Ray-Ban brand and combined forces with France’s Essilor in a significant merger in 2018.

He remained executive chairman of EssilorLuxottica till December 2020, when he handed the day-to-day leadership of the company to Chief Executive Francesco Milleri. He had supported Milleri as head of the Franco-Italian eyewear giant when the merged group was made.

Del Vecchio’s influence extended beyond his business, and at the end of 2021, he was Italy’s second-richest man behind Giovanni Ferrero of the Nutella-making group, according to Forbes.

His Delfin holding company is a huge shareholder in Italian financial services group Mediobanca and has a stake of just less than 10% in Italy’s largest insurer Generali. It owns approximately 7% of the real estate company Covivio, listed in Paris and Milan.

“With the passing of Del Vecchio, Milan loses one of the most emblematic figures of its most delinquent history,” Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala told on Twitter.

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