Session highlights: Opening keynote interview — Unlocking your family business competitive advantage
Marc Puig and Guido Corbetta
Exciting projects never go out of style
Puig, one of the most iconic fashion and fragrance houses in the world, has been a successful family business for more than 100 years. At the Family Business Summit, Chairman and CEO Marc Puig shared his personal perspective on preserving legacy while boldly looking forward. Marc is the third generation to step into running the global company, which now has more than 4,400 employees across its subsidiaries.
The challenges of running an international company are closely related to the issues that come up in a family. As he says, “When you have a crisis in the business, you have a crisis in the family.”
One of the key business decisions the company has put into practice is a “self-limiting process,” he said. He explained that this limits the power of the family, keeping the boards of the company and its subsidiaries either family-free or at an agreed-upon ratio of family to non-family members.
So how does a century-old company keep the spirit of entrepreneurship alive? Puig was fast to answer, clearly passionate about the topic. He said that first and foremost, a company has to keep developing exciting projects. This in turn brings out the best work in current employees, while attracting the best outside talent with fresh ideas.
“When you have a crisis in the business, you have a crisis in the family.”
- Marc Puig
Chairman and CEO
Marc Puig has been CEO of Puig since 2004 and Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2007, in addition to holding numerous positions within the company and its subsidiaries.
Marc first joined Antonio Puig S.A. in 1991 as Director of R&D and New Product Development. In 1996 he was named President of Puig USA, a company distributing and marketing Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne perfumery products across North America. He also oversaw the Carolina Herrera Ltd. fashion company while based in New York.
In 2000 Marc was appointed to the Board of Directors of Carolina Herrera Ltd. as Chairman, and in 2001 he returned to the Puig Group in Barcelona as President of the Fashion Division, overseeing the Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne fashion brands. He also has held the position of Senior Vice President Corporate Development.
Marc received the Kellogg’s Family Business Leadership Award in 2015.
AIdAF–EY Professor of Strategic Management of Family Business
Guido Corbetta is the AIdAF–EY Professor of Strategic Management of Family Business at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. He is also a senior faculty member of the SDA Bocconi Business School and serves on the editorial committees of the journals Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and Family Business Review.
Guido has been working on family business-related matters since 1988, focusing on such topics as entrepreneurship, succession, governance, and growth in family businesses and family offices. He is a researcher and consultant for more than 130 companies, and he serves on the board of, or as a consultant to, four of the highest-grossing family groups in Italy.