Burberry shares reel as CEO announces departure

Burberry Group shares fell as much as 10% after chief executive Marco Gobbetti said he would be leaving the luxury goods retailer after nearly five years at the helm.

Gobbetti will be leaving Burberry

at the end of the year for the same role at Salvatore Ferragamo,

the Italian leather goods retailer. Burberry said it would begin looking for a successor.

Analysts at Citi said Gobbetti’s strategic plan at Burberry, set out in 2017, was beginning to bear fruit. They said creative director Riccardo Tisci, who followed Gobbetti to Burberry, might leave as well, as Ferragamo also has an opening for that role. “This is a negative for Burberry and a source of uncertainty until we get clarity on the new CEO search process and the design function. This is also likely to fuel renewed speculation on a company takeover, which could be disruptive internally while the Board is looking for a new CEO,” the Citi analysts said.

Meanwhile U.K. airline shares slumped as German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly was pushing for limits on U.K. travel as Spain, Portugal and Malta imposed new restrictions, in response to rising coronavirus cases. Hong Kong was taking the step of banning U.K. flights altogether.

British Airways owner International Airlines Group

fell 5%, and TUI

lost 4%.

The broader FTSE 100

slipped 0.4% in midday trade.

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