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HomeFashionChristopher Bailey leaves Burberry – will Phoebe Philo replace him?

Christopher Bailey leaves Burberry – will Phoebe Philo replace him?

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Christopher Bailey is leaving Burberry
(Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Burberry)

Christopher Bailey, chief designer at Burberry and the man responsible for all your dream trench coats, is stepping down from the global fashion brand.

Burberry has confirmed that Christopher Bailey will step down from the board, on which he serves as chief creative officer, by 31 March 2018, then leave the brand entirely in December 2018.

He’s stated that he will provide his full support to chief executive Marco Gobbetti and the team to help them through the transition from March to December.

Christopher first joined Burberry back in 2001, and became chief executive as well as chief creative offer in 2014.

Earlier this year Marco Gobbetti took over as chief executive, but Christopher remained chief creative officer and held on to creative control.

Big news from burberry today.christopher bailey to leave at end of 2018.Having him&Marco Gobbetti at helm was always never going to work..

— Deirdre Hipwell (@DeirdreHipwell) October 31, 2017

It’s not clear yet who will take on Christopher’s role as President of the brand, but there are rumours Phoebe Philo could be set to take over. Phoebe’s previously worked with Marco Gobbetti, and a few weeks ago there were reports that Phoebe may be leaving Celine.

The Cut reported that LVMH were even interviewing for her replacement in the early weeks of October, so the timing is fairly suspicious.

Burberry has released a statement on the announcement, which reads: ‘Burberry announces today that Christopher Bailey will leave the company at the end of 2018.

‘As Burberry begins the next decade of of its journey, Christopher has concluded that after 17 years it will be the right time for him to pursue new creative projects.

‘Christopher will remain President and Chief Creative Officer until 31 March 2018, when he will step down from the board.

Christopher Bailey is leaving Burberry
(Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

‘He will provide his full support to Chief Executive Officer Marco Gobbetti and the team on the transition until 31 December 2018.

‘Since joining in 2001, Christopher has been the driving force behind Burberry’s transformation. In that time, Burberry has grown from a small licensed outerwear business to become one of the world’s largest and most admired global luxury brands.

‘Christopher became CEO and Chief Creative Officer in May 2014. In this joint role, he continued to push boundaries and led the ongoing elevation of the brand. He also built a highly talented and experienced creative team, capable of the constant re-invention that Burberry is known for.

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‘Christopher worked with the Board to put in place a new leadership structure and in July was succeeded as CEO by Marco Gobbetti. Since then, Marco and Christopher have worked together to shape and ambition and a strategy for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand. They have also strengthened the leadership team.

‘Marco understands and supports Christopher’s decision and will now begin the process of finding a successor.’

Christopher Bailey has stated that he’s excited to move on to other projects, but is keen to help Burberry transition smoothly to new leadership.

Christopher Bailey is leaving Burberry
(Picture: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images for Burberry)

‘It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years,’ he said.

‘Burberry encapsulates so much of what is great about Britain. As an organisation, it is creative, innovative and outward looking. It celebrates diversity and challenges received wisdoms. It is over 160 years old, but it has a young spirit.

‘It is part of the establishment, but it is always changing, and always learning.

It has been a truly inspiring place to work and the decision to leave was not an easy one.

Christopher Bailey is leaving Burberry
(Picture: Getty)

‘I do truly believe, however, that Burberry’s best days are still ahead of her and that the company will go from strength to strength with the strategy we have developed and the exceptional talent we have in place led by Marco.

‘I would like to thank all my colleagues as well as Sir John Peace and the Board for all their support and faith in me over the years.

‘I am excited to pursue new creative projects but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition.’

It seems 17 years is the magic number this year. Congratulations on an incredible run at Burberry, Christopher Bailey.

— Jo Elvin (@jo_elvin) October 31, 2017

So burberry announcement says Christopher bailey is "transitioning from burberry".Is this corporate version of "consciously uncoupling"?

— Deirdre Hipwell (@DeirdreHipwell) October 31, 2017

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