Just as he is leaving the operational chairmanship of Safilo, the company taken over by his father Guglielmo in 1934, Vittorio Tabacchi is largely expected to become the next chairman of Eurom 1, the European federation of national ophthalmic industry associations. He would take charge for a three-year period at a time when Eurom 1 is putting a lot of pressure on European authorities to pass new regulations and new directives that would benefit the sector.

As reported separately in this issue, Tabacchi was replaced last Monday as chairman of Safilo by Melchert Frans Groot, who represents the company's new major shareholder, the Hal group. Tabacchi, who is now 71 years old, was appointed honorary chairman of Safilo and his family remains the second-largest shareholder.

The current chairman of Eurom 1 is Antoni Olivella, chief executive of Indo and a former chairman of the European Sunglass Association. His three-year mandate expires in July. Based on an established system of rotating chairmanships among the national associations, it is now the turn of the Italian association of eyewear producers, Anfao, to make a proposal.

Anfao has put forward Tabacchi as its candidate. He will have to be endorsed during a meeting of Eurom 1 scheduled for July 4-6, but it seems almost certain that he will be elected to the post.

The seasoned Italian executive has already been chairman of Anfao and Mido on and off for many years. He was again elected to this position in July 2009 for a period of two years.