CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—EssilorLuxottica announced today a major change in its top level leadership. The company issued a statement saying that executive vice chairman Hubert Sagnieres has decided to retire and relinquish his responsibilities at EssilorLuxottica and its subsidiaries. He will remain as non-executive vice chairman of the company. In order to preserve the equal powers principle of the business combination agreement currently in place, company chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio decided to voluntarily step back from his executive responsibilities at EssilorLuxottica. He will remain non-executive chairman of the company.

EssilorLuxottica’s board has granted executive powers to Francesco Milleri and Paul du Saillant, who are appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) and deputy chief executive officer (deputy CEO) of EssilorLuxottica, respectively, until the appointment of the new board of directors by the 2021 annual general meeting of shareholders. Du Saillant becomes chairman and CEO of Essilor International.

Hubert Sagnieres (l) and Leonardo Del Vecchio

Paul du Saillant (l) and Francesco Milleri
The Board of Directors also decided to pay an interim dividend for the 2020 financial year of €1.15 per share on Dec. 28, 2020 (ex-date: Dec. 23, 2020). “This decision was supported by the efficacy of the measures taken to rein in costs and preserve cash and by the sound business recovery in the second half of the year,” the company said in a statement.

“I want to thank Hubert for his success in turning Essilor into a world leader and helping to build EssilorLuxottica as the strong company it is today. The contributions he made during his career with the company are long-lasting. I’m also pleased that the resilient and disciplined approach we took to running our company during a challenging year allowed us to make this dividend possible—it’s a strong sign that our business and our industry has the ability to push through great adversity,” commented Del Vecchio.

“The incredible progress made over the last two years, and most recently under the impetus of Francesco and Paul, give me confidence that this is the right time for me to step back and transfer my executive powers to them, to facilitate a smoother governance transition. I know that this adjusted governance will further accelerate the integration of the company and the delivery of synergies, benefitting all stakeholders, through the continued deployment of our mission,” added Sagnieres.