Leonardo Del Vecchio

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Leonardo Del Vecchio
Leonardo Del Vecchio, 2011.jpeg
Leonardo Del Vecchio in 2011
Born22 May 1935 (1935-05-22) (age 85)
Milan, Italy
EducationHigh school[1]
OccupationFounder and chairman of Luxottica
Known forSunglass Hut, LensCrafters, Ray-Ban, Oakley
Net worthUS$25.8 billion (January 2020)[1]
Children6, including Claudio Del Vecchio

Leonardo Del Vecchio (born 22 May 1935) is an Italian billionaire businessman, the founder and chairman of Luxottica,[2] the world's largest producer and retailer of glasses and lenses,[3] with 77,734 employees and over 8,000 stores.[4] As of January 2020, Del Vecchio was estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $25.8 billion, making him the second richest man in Italy, and the 50th richest in the world.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Leonardo Del Vecchio was born in 1935 in Milan, Italy, to an impoverished family from Barletta, Southern Italy. He began his career as an apprentice to a tool and die maker in Milan, but decided to turn his metalworking skills to make spectacle parts. So in 1961 he moved to Agordo in the province of Belluno, which is home to most of the Italian eyewear industry.[3] The new company was Luxottica s.a.s., a limited partnership. In 1967, he started selling complete spectacle frames under the Luxottica brand, and in 1971 he entered the contact manufacturing business.

In 1974, he acquired Scarrone, a distribution company. In 1981 the company set up its first international subsidiary, in Germany. A licensing deal with the designer Giorgio Armani was settled in 1988.

The company listed in New York in 1990, and in Milan in December 2000, joining the MIB-30 (now S&P/MIB) index in September 2003. The listing enhanced the company's ability to acquire other brands, starting with Italian brand Vogue in 1990, Persol and US Shoe Corporation (LensCrafters) in 1995, Ray-Ban in 1999 and Sunglass Hut, Inc. in 2001.[6] They went looking for more retail companies, acquiring Sydney-based OPSM in 2003, Pearle Vision in 2004, Surfeyes in 2006, and Cole National in 2004. They acquired Oakley in a US$2.1 billion deal in November 2007.[7]

Del Vecchio owns a 10% stake in Italian investment bank Mediobanca.[8]


Personal life[edit]

Del Vecchio is married, with six children, and lives in Milan.[1] He has one son, Claudio Del Vecchio, and two daughters, Marisa and Paola, with his first wife. With his second wife he had another son, Leonardo Maria; and with his third wife two sons, Luca and Clemente.[12][13] He remarried his second wife in 2010.[12]

Claudio Del Vecchio now owns and manages the American clothing retailer Brooks Brothers.[13]


  1. ^ a b c "Forbes profile: Leonardo Del Vecchio". Forbes. 3 January 2019.
  2. ^ "From Laurene Powell Jobs to Leonardo del Vecchio, opportunity knocks for the world's richest people | The National". Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b Knight, Sam (10 May 2018). "The spectacular power of Big Lens". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Luxottica Group on the Forbes World's Most Innovative Companies List". Forbes. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  5. ^ "The World's Billionaires, 2017 Rankings". Forbes. 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Luxottica to buy Sunglass Hut for $462M - Feb. 22, 2001". money.cnn.com. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  7. ^ Ram, Vidya. "Luxottica's Shade-less Deal With Oakley". Forbes. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  8. ^ Reuters Staff (7 October 2020). "Del Vecchio rules out push for control of Mediobanca after raising stake". Reuters. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Holding Luxottica".
  10. ^ "Holding Covivio". Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Holding Generali=12 agosto 2014". Archived from the original on 12 August 2014.
  12. ^ a b Za, Valentina (16 January 2017). "Luxottica's merger helps Del Vecchio manage family risks". reuters.com. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Leonardo Del Vecchio - The Florentine". theflorentine.net. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2018.