Diego Bolzonello, a manager who built Geox into one of the world's biggest brands of casual footwear, has agreed to be the new chief executive of Calzaturificio Scarpa, working alongside its president, Sandro Parisotto, who previously shared the functions of president and CEO.
Bolzonello will be the first CEO hired from outside the company, founded 80 years ago in Asolo, since it was taken over by the Parisotto family in 1956. He will also join its board of directors following the departure of a cousin of Sandro Parisotto, Andrea Parisotto. Andrea had been on the board for more than 24 years, but he had not been active at the company in recent years.
A statement by the company says that it had become necessary to add new professionals to the organization in order to support its continuing growth and to progress further in terms of sales and margins, based on a new business plan that will be implemented over the next three years.
The company said it posted a stable Ebitda margin of 14 percent last year on consolidated sales that grew by 10 percent to €96 million, ending up with free cash flow of €44 million. Five years ago, Scarpa had revenues of around €60 million. Early last year, Scarpa announced the appointment of two new executives in charge of sales and marketing, Francesco Favilli and Marco Campagna, to accompany its growth.
We were unable to get any details on Scarpa's new business plan by the time of going to press. In the recent past, the management had indicated a certain interest in external growth through acquisitions.
Today, Scarpa employs directly about 450 people at two factories in Asolo and produces about one million pairs of shoes per year, focusing on hiking, trekking and climbing.
Bolzonello, whom we met several times at the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen, has been working lately as a consultant to sports and outdoor companies in the Montebelluna region of Italy. He left Geox in 2012 with a non-competition clause. At the time, the company booked provisions of €9.2 million in compensation payments for his departure.
Born in 1958, Bolzonello virtually co-founded Geox in 1995 with its controlling shareholder, Mario Moretti Polegato. By the time he left the company, Geox was generating annual revenues of nearly €900 million, and they are still at about the same level, in spite of subsequent changes of management.