Mondottica International announced on May 9 that it has merged with Mondottica USA, changing its top management. In the merger, Harvey Ross has reduced its large majority stake to a minority share and Mondottica International has raised its small minority stake to majority control through an equity increase.

Mondottica USA was a franchise of the international operation, distributing Mondottica's Anna Sui, Christian Lacroix, Hackett London and Pepe Jeans line in the U.S. on an exclusive basis. The merger will lead to an expansion of its product portfolio and to a higher integration with the infrastructures of the international company, based in London and Hong Kong, which should ensure better service levels.

Ross, the former owner of Viva International, will continue as chairman of Mondottica USA, which will operate as a subsidiary of Mondottica International. Steve Tulba, the commercial director of the Mondottica group, will extend his responsibilities and serve also as president of Mondottica USA. Phil Turnage, a former head of sales for Viva, is assuming the role of president, responsible for operations and sales initiatives.

The new appointments follow the departure of two former managers of Mondottica USA, Mitch Barkley and Gary Podhaizer, who previously worked for Ross at Viva. Barkley recently became one of the managers of the Vision Council. Podhaizer is now with another U.S. distribution company.

Tulba, who sits on the board of the Vision Council, will spend ten days per month in the U.S., a country that he knows well, having spent more than four years at the head of Inspecs USA. Turnage left a few months ago as president of Match Eyewear.