Nicola Brandolese.  
Luxottica Retail Names Brandolese President of Retail Optical of Americas; Weikel to Retire

MILAN— Luxottica Group (NYSE:LUX) has announced leadership changes for the North American market, including the appointment of Nicola Brandolese as the new president of Retail Optical of Americas, effective immediately.

A company statement said, “After four years of service to Luxottica, Mark Weikel has decided to retire. His personal desire to invest time with family and friends is fueling his decision.” The company noted that Weikel joined Luxottica in 2011, taking on key leadership roles, including general manager of Sunglass Hut North America and LensCrafters president and general manager.

In his new role, Brandolese will lead both Retail Optical North and South America. Brandolese joined the Luxottica senior management team in September 2012 as group business development director and chief digital officer, based at Luxottica headquarters here.

Reporting to Brandolese will be Eric Anderson, president and general manager of LensCrafters; Pete Bridgman, senior vice president and general manager of Pearle Vision; Mary Anne Stangby, senior vice president and general manager of Sears Optical; Alexis McLaughlin, senior vice president and general manager of Target Optical, and Guillaume Bonniol, vice president, RONA strategy.

Erik Caldwell, senior vice president and general manager, Luxottica Optical Manufacturing (LOM) and lens procurement, will have dual reporting to Brandolese and to Massimo Vian, Luxottica Group’s chief operations officer.

Michael Hansen  
VSP Global Hires Hansen, Formerly of Luxottica, as President of New Retail Development Division

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.— VSP Global has tapped Michael Hansen, a 27-year veteran of Luxottica, to be president of its newly created Retail Development division, the fifth within the global optical company. The new division will “develop optical and business solutions that help VSP network doctors become more competitive retailers in an evolving marketplace,” according to Rob Lynch, CEO of VSP Global. Hansen will be responsible for “setting the strategic direction of the organization’s focus on creating competitive retail strategies for VSP providers in a growing retail-oriented space,” according to a statement from the company.

In his new role at the Retail Development division, Hansen will report to Lynch. He started with VSP Global at the start of this year after nearly three decades with Luxottica. His most recent senior executive positions included vice president of Sunglass Hut business development and store operations, leading mergers and acquisitions and the growth of licensed business models with Macy’s and Hudson.

Gordon Bishop   ​Felix Castanon
Bishop Retires from Sunland Optical, Lab Manager Castanon Assumes Presidency

EL PASO, Texas—After 45 years in the optical industry and after more than six years as president/CEO of Sunland Optical, Gordon Bishop has retired from the position and founded Optical Consultants. Felix Castanon, formerly lab manager, will assume the role of president. The company specializes in providing eyecare and eyewear on military bases throughout the U.S.

After more than four decades in the business, Bishop has worked in many facets of the optical field, including corporate and private retail, optometry and ophthalmology. In addition, he has also worked for buying groups, contact lens distribution companies and retail government entities. Prior to Sunland Optical, Bishop was senior vice president of operations for Schaeffer Eye Center in Birmingham, Ala., and president of the consumer division, buying group and contact lens division of Opticare Eye Health Systems in Waterbury, Conn.

Sunland’s new president, Felix Castanon, has been in the optical business for more than 33 years. He told VM that Sunland Optical currently has one lab based here producing an average of 300 jobs per day servicing 27 locations throughout the U.S.

​Dick Russo   Glenn Rusk  
Safilo USA Announces Russo’s Retirement, Rusk Named Commercial

SVP PARSIPPANY, N.J.— Safilo USA has announced the retirement of optical industry veteran Dick Russo, executive vice president in charge of the commercial activities for North America, after 42 years of service. Glenn Rusk, who previously led Safilo’s Canadian business, has been named the new commercial senior vice president of Safilo North America and has become a member of Safilo’s Global Leadership Team.

“Safilo’s leading position in the North America eyewear market is in no small way due to the vision and drive of Dick Russo,” said Ross Brownlee, president of Safilo Americas. “His insights, market knowledge and humor will be greatly missed but we wish him well for retirement.” ■