Safilo Group has appointed Francesco Rinaldi Ceroni to the role of president and chief commercial officer for the North American market, effective June 1.
The appointment follows the retirement of Steve Wright.
Ceroni joined Safilo in June 2020 as global general manager of Smith Optics, today Safilo’s biggest brand. He will retain responsibility for Smith as president of Smith Optics. Meanwhile, Mark Phares, currently director of global wholesale channel for Smith, has been promoted to general manager for Smith Optics.
Ceroni has extensive wholesale and retail experience in the eyewear industry, having also served as vice president, international strategy and business development, at Costa Del Mar during a period of expansion.
“North America has a central role in Safilo’s strategy and business growth,” said Angelo Trocchia, CEO of Safilo Group. “I thank Steve for his countless contributions to the Group and extend my best wishes for his retirement. Francesco has driven the implementation of key transformational projects for the Smith division over the past two years, fully embracing the digital acceleration and innovative responsibility that sets Safilo Group apart in the marketplace. I’m very excited about where Safilo is today and the next chapter for North America, and I wish all the best to Francesco in his new role.”
Wright said: “I leave Safilo and the incredible team we have in place, with a mix of emotions. When I accepted the challenge from Angelo to lead the rebuilding of Safilo in North America, I knew we had to move quickly. I’m proud of the results we have achieved in just a few years. It is the exclamation point on a long career within the eyewear industry and it was a privilege to be part of this organization. I look forward to Francesco taking the reins and achieving even greater things for Safilo in the market as he and the team write its next successful chapter.”
Ceroni said: “I am honored to take the leadership of Safilo North America and to follow the great work that Steve and the team have done here serving our customers. This market is critical to the Group’s overall success and given the strength of the team that’s been built and the plans they already have underway, we look to the future with optimism.”