What leaves behind the second richest Italian and

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Leonardo Del Vecchio, the founder of eyewear manufacturer Luxottica, has died at the age of 87. The Italian businessman was still active in EssilorLuxottica, most recently as Chairman of the Board. Del Vecchio was the CEO of a $ 1 billion company until just two years ago, in 2020, when he ran the company at the venerable age of 85.

The giant of EssilorLuxottica, the largest global company in the eyewear industry, announced with “extreme sadness” the death of its president Leonardo Del Vecchio. In 1961, Del Vecchio, who grew up as a poor orphan boy in Milan, founded the Luxottica eyewear company. But the big breakthrough came in the 1990s, when Luxottica went public in New York and began producing glasses for brands such as Chanel, Prada and Versace.

The company has also grown strongly through acquisitions, such as that of the famous Ray-Ban brand.

The Italian entrepreneur, however, always remained at the helm of “his” company, even after the merger with French industry rival Essilor in 2018. It was not until December 2020 that he stepped aside, at the age of 85, but Del Vecchio did not retire completely, but became chairman of the Board of Directors, a very important position in the organization of the company.

“The company expresses its deepest condolences to the family and the global community of employees for this enormous loss. The council will meet to determine the next steps “, it is shown in a press release, quoted by RetailDetail.

In 1986, the President of Italy awarded Del Vecchio the honorary title of “Cavaliere del Lavoro” (Knight of Labor). The businessman died as the second richest Italian, preceded only by the founder of Nutella, Giovanni Ferrero. His fortune is estimated at between 25 and 27 billion euros.