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EssilorLuxottica Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio Dies at 87

He was described as ‘an entrepreneurial genius, a good friend to many, and an all-round incredible man.’

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CHARENTON-LE-PONT, FRANCE — Leonardo Del Vecchio, chairman of EssilorLuxottica, has died.

Leonardo Del Vecchio

Leonardo Del Vecchio

He was 87.

“The Company expresses its deepest condolences to the Family and to the global employee community for this enormous loss,” EssilorLuxottica said in a statement. “The Board will meet to determine next steps.”

ABC News noted that Del Vecchio, who founded the Luxottica empire, was “one of Italy’s richest industrialists.”

“Today, the world has lost a visionary: an entrepreneurial genius, a good friend to many, and an all-round incredible man,” Luxottica stated in a post on its Facebook page.

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No cause of death was made public. Italian media outlets reported that he died in a hospital in Milan.

Many in the eyewear and fashion industries expressed condolences.

“A genius, a visionary, an Italian who inspired many just left us,” said Donatella Versace and her daughter Allegra in a joint statement, according to WWD. With much sorrow, we are close to [his wife] Nicoletta in this sad moment. Thank you Leonardo for teaching us a lot.”

Luxottica Group and Essilor International merged in 2018 to form EssilorLuxottica.

“We are at the beginning of a new chapter in our history in which we so strongly believe, bringing together frames and lenses under the same roof and completing our vertically integrated business model,” Del Vecchio said at the time.

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