Business / Business of Luxury

Kering Appoints Google Executive Amid Metaverse Push

Kering continues to demonstrate a glowing sign of the ever-growing relationship between tech and luxury.

Apr 29, 2022 | By Cleo Yong
kering appoints google executive amid metaverse push
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, at the 2022 general meeting of shareholders in Paris on Thursday. Image: Romuald Meigneux/SIPA

On 28 April 2022, during Kering’s annual general meeting, the French luxury group welcomed a senior Google executive to its board of directors.

Yonca Dervisoglu, Vice President, Marketing at Google for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, will join the board as an independent director. The Turkish national will bring her “expertise in the fields of new technologies, digital and marketing at the international level”.

Yonca Dervisoglu joins Kering Group
Yonca Dervisoglu. Image: İşte Kadınlar

Kering’s chairman and chief executive officer, François-Henri Pinault also spoke at the general meeting and revealed that in further exploring the potential of the metaverse, he and members of his team will travel to California next week to meet Silicon Valley executives.

Dervisoglu, a brilliant businesswoman, joined Google in 2006 and manages teams across 35 countries to work on all products. The fellow of The Marketing Society co-founded Google Arts and Culture and Grow with Google. Her experience includes senior marketing positions at Unilever and Yahoo. The driven marketer has also served on the Supervisory Board of Heineken, Supervisory Board of Mavi and Digital Advisory Board of the Natural History Museum in London.

Regarding her appointment, Dervisoglu expressed that since the pandemic, the search interest online for luxury has increased by 25 per cent, as per WWD. She added that it is “a time of great opportunity for everyone: individuals, businesses, brands and certainly companies like Kering”.

gucci and the sandbox, interactive fashion experience
Gucci and The Sandbox’s interactive fashion experience. Image: Max Siedentopf/Gucci
gucci virtual garden on roblox
Gucci virtual garden on Roblox. Image: Roblox
gucci metaverse
Gucci Vault. Image: Gucci

French businessman Pinault shared that the group is exploring options like creating original digital products unrelated to its physical merchandise and allowing customers to pay online with cryptocurrencies. These virtual initiatives can already be seen at Gucci and Balenciaga, where chief client and digital officer Grégory Boutté is spearheading the push.

Alongside Dervisoglu, a couple of other acclaimed professionals were added to the list as well, namely chairwoman of CNP Assurances’ Board of Directors Véronique Weill and chairman of Sanofi’s Board of Directors Serge Weinberg. Additionally, Daniela Riccardi, who has been a director of Kering since 2014 and a member of the Sustainability Committee, will continue to offer her excellent international experience in business and brand development in the consumer goods and retail sectors.

Pinault declared at the appointment meeting on 4 March where the changes in its membership were approved: “Their respective knowledge and skills, as well as their backgrounds, will provide valuable inputs to the Board of Directors’ discussions, and I am looking forward to counting on their commitment.”

Being ahead of the game, Kering is also in touch with teams at Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

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