Diesel Names New CEO for North America

MILAN — Diesel on Monday said it has appointed Matteo Lena as the brand’s new chief executive officer for North America, effective immediately.

He succeeds Donald Kohler, who earlier this year was named president of Calvin Klein Americas by PVH Corp.

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Most recently, Lena was senior vice president brand manager Americas and previously senior vice president retail North America at Giorgio Armani Corp. After graduating in business administration at the University of Turin, Lena held international managerial roles at Benetton and Geox during his career.

Diesel’s founder Renzo Rosso described Lena as “a manager with wide international experience,” referring to his more than two decades in the fashion and luxury industry, and added that “he will be responsible for harnessing the great potential of the North American market, where Diesel has its global roots.”

Diesel is controlled by Rosso’s OTB Group, which comprises Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sander, Viktor & Rolf and a minority stake in Amiri, as well as production arms Staff International and Brave Kid.

In the 12 months ended Dec. 31, turnover, including royalties, totaled 1.74 billion euros, up 14 percent compared with 1.53 billion euros in 2021. Net sales amounted to 1.63 billion euros, up 12 percent compared with 1.45 billion euros the year before.

After a reorganization and repositioning of its retail and wholesale channels, Diesel continues to be a core business for OTB, representing less than 40 percent of total revenues in 2022.

As reported, OTB Group’s CEO Ubaldo Minelli said he was “happy with Diesel and its success and its repositioning as an alternative to luxury that started with Glenn [Martens, named creative director in October 2020]. Despite the changes that took place during the pandemic, Diesel has achieved “extraordinary visibility globally.”

As reported, Diesel global CEO Eraldo Poletto left earlier this year and no successor has been named yet. Meanwhile, Poletto recently moved to Italian footwear brand Santoni, becoming the first CEO recruited from outside the company’s founding family.

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