With many new licenses and acquisitions signed in the last few years, Mondottica's 66-year-old founder, chief executive and “chief dreamer,” Michael Jardine, has decided to delegate some of his responsibilities to new top managers now that his company has reached an annual turnover of close to $100 million. Additional appointments are in the pipeline.
Based in London, two of the new managers – Anthony “Tony” Pessok and Paul Sultan – come from Perry Ellis International (PEI), an American fashion conglomerate which, like Mondottica, owns many different brands and licenses.
Pessok will fill a newly created position as chief commercial officer of Mondottica, filling a void that was created with the departure of Steve Tulba and James Gotch in 2017. Their former functions are now rolled into a single position. He participated in the negotiations of several licenses for Perry Ellis while working as managing director of the company's European subsidiary for the past five years, in charge of licensing and international business development. Prior to that, he spent five years as sales director of a British fashion brand, Boxfresh.
Sultan, who is American, spent the last three years and a half at Perry Ellis' London office as European chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Among other jobs, he previously worked for six years at Revlon and for 20 years for another big American conglomerate, Phillip Van Heusen (PVH), with stations in the Netherlands and Mexico.
Mondottica has also appointed a new chief product officer, Allan Rasmussen, giving him responsibility for all the product development and design functions currently spread through the company's offices in Hong Kong, the U.K. and France. The Danish executive spent more than 18 years with ProDesign Denmark until July 2017, when he became a consultant, working also for Brando Eyewear, a subsidiary of Mondottica. He will also be based in London, filling a new position within the group.
Furthermore, Mondottica has decided to reinforce its position in the American continent by promoting a New York-based industry veteran, Drew Oppermann, to the newly created position of president for the Americas. The American executive has been overseeing lately Latin America, Canada and joint ventures in Germany, Russia, Australia, India and Japan. He had previously worked for Viva International and Adlens.
As previously reported, Mondottica recently reinforced its position in several parts of Europe and the rest of the world through a strategic agreement with Menrad, which acquired a substantial minority share in the group (EWI Vol. 19 N° 16+17).
As part of its new commitment to the Americas, Mondottica is investing in a new showroom in Miami, Florida, for its clients in Latin America.
Jardine presented the new team last week, prior to the opening of the company's annual sunglass workshop. Excluding Menrad's sales offices, Mondottica currently employs about 200 people, half of them in London and Nottingham in the U.K. The staff also includes about 40 employees at its head office in Hong Kong and 40 in France, plus others in Barcelona, Tokyo, Delhi, Moscow, New York and Sydney.
While expressing the wish to have a more prominent position in the area of sunglasses, which represent about 30 percent of Mondottica's turnover, Jardine says that he is not actively pursuing any new major licensing deals or acquisitions at this stage. He prefers to see the company first digest and rationalize its current portfolio.
In addition to four own brands – Yves Cogan, Spine, Sunday Somewhere and Zoobug – the group licenses 15 “core brands,” and it may discontinue a couple of others. Its most recent licensing deals are those that it signed with Sergio Tacchini and Scotch & Soda earlier this year. The other licenses in its portfolio include names like Anna Sui, Cath Kidston, Christian Lacroix, Ducati, Hackett, Joules, Karen Millen, Le Coq Sportif, Maje, Marimekko, Pepe Jeans, Sandro, Ted Baker (worldwide except USA and Canada), United Colors of Benetton and Yohji Yamamoto.