Leonardo Del Vecchio Net Worth – $33 Billion
At the time of his passing in June 2022, Italian businessman Leonardo Del Vecchio had a $30 billion net worth. Most people are familiar with Leonardo Del Vecchio as the founder and chairman of Luxottica, the leading manufacturer, and reseller of eyeglasses and frames worldwide. Over 77,000 people are employed by the corporation, which has more than 9,000 retail locations throughout the world. Del Vecchio was one of the top 70 wealthiest persons in the world and the richest person in Italy at the time of his passing.
At the age of 87, Leonardo Del Vecchio passed away on June 27, 2022. He left behind a wife and six kids, ranging in age from 18 to 65, from three different partnerships.
Early years and professional beginnings
On May 22, 1935, Leonardo Del Vecchio was born in Milan, Italy to a low-income family from Barletta in southern Italy. His father died when he was barely five months old. He was placed in an orphanage when he was seven years old since his widowed mother was unable to care for him and his four siblings. At the age of 14, Del Vecchio began his professional life in Milan as an apprentice to a tool and die, manufacturer. He then decided to make eyeglass components using his metalworking abilities.
Del Vecchio attended the Brera Academy of Art and graduated in 1958 with a degree in engraving. He moved to Agordo, in the Province of Belluno, in 1961, which is where Italy’s eyeglass business is based. There, he received funding from two of his first clients to launch the business Luxottica.
In 1967, Del Vecchio started selling eyeglass frames under the Luxottica brand. He made the decision to vertically integrate after seeing great success and bought the distribution business Scarrone in 1974. Later, in the first decade of the 1980s, Luxottica founded its first foreign subsidiary in Germany. By the decade’s conclusion, the business had furthered its worldwide growth and signed the first of several licensing agreements with the luxury brand Armani.
After then, Luxottica went public in Milan in 2000 and New York in 1990. The firm bought a variety of brands using the proceeds from its public offering, including Vogue Eyewear, Persol, Ray-Ban, and Sunglass Hut, Inc. In the early 2000s, it moved on to increase its retail footprint by purchasing OPSM, Pearle Vision, and Cole National. The $2.1 billion purchase of Oakley by Luxottica in 2007 was a significant deal. After disputing prices and being removed from the company’s outlets, the brand was hostilely taken over by Luxottica.
In 2014, Luxottica unveiled a new organizational structure with two co-CEOs who divided their attention between company operations and market growth. Thereafter, there was a period of quick-change as Enrico Cavatorta took over as CEO of Andrea Guerra and resigned 40 days after his own appointment. When Adil Mehboob-Khan departed the firm a year after succeeding Cavatorta, the company lost a third CEO in 2016.
Luxottica and Essilor International, a French-based eye care firm, reached an agreement to merge in 2017. The new holding company EssilorLuxottica, which has a combined market valuation of almost €57 billion, was established the following year.
Brands and Store Locations for Luxottica
Sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses are both available from Luxottica, which also engages in production and distribution. Alain Mikli, Persol, Ray-Ban, Steroflex, Oliver Peoples, and Costa Del Mar are some of its house brands. It also produces eyeglasses for high-end brands including Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Coach, Miu Miu, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, and Versace under license.
In countries including Canada, China, Australia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, Luxottica has more than 9,000 retail stores. Stores including LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, OPSM, Spectacle Hut, Laubman & Pank, and Econópticas sell its brands. Additionally, Luxottica is the owner of EyeMed Vision Care, one of the biggest American providers of vision insurance.
Luxottica has come under a lot of fire over the years for the excessive price of its name-brand eyewear. It has also been charged for massive corporate consolidation and maintaining an industry monopoly because of its broad portfolio of brands, retailers, optical departments, and insurance companies. The business asserted ownership of roughly 30% of the worldwide market share following the merger with Essilor. Luxottica was also accused of market manipulation, such as when it removed Oakley as a rival off its list before assuming control of the business after its stock fell.
With a 61.9 percent stake in Luxottica, Del Vecchio still holds the bulk of the company’s shares. Among his further stock interests are 28 percent in the French real estate investment firm Covivio, 10% in the Italian investment bank Mediobanca, and 3.17 percent in Assicurazioni Generali, the country’s biggest insurer.
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Six children total, three from Del Vecchio’s first marriage, one from his second, and two from his third. Claudio, Marisa, Paola, Leonardo, Luca, and Clemente are his children. The apparel shop Brooks Brothers was owned by Claudio, who is also a successful businessman. To safeguard the financial interests of all six children, special trusts have been established.