“EssilorLuxottica today sadly announces the death of its chairman,” the panel said in a statement, adding that the committee may “determine the next steps”.
Del Vecchio grew up in an orphanage from an early age and amassed billions of euros in assets through one of the most famous rags to riches stories in Italy’s post-war economic recovery.
“Leonardo del Vecchio was a great Italian. From the orphanage to the leadership of the business empire, his story sounds like the story of another era, but it’s an example today and tomorrow. RIP,” European Economic Commissioner Pavlo Gentiloni said on Twitter. .
The Italian entrepreneur founded Luxotica in 1961 and formed a company owned by the Ray-Ban brand and in 2018 merged with Esciler of France in a major merger.
He was executive chairman of EssilorLuxottica until December 2020, when he handed over the day-to-day leadership of the company to CEO Francesco Miller. When the affiliated group was formed, he personally supported Millari as head of the Franco-Italian glass companies.
Del Vecchio’s influence extends beyond his own business and by the end of 2021 he will be Italy’s second richest man after Giovanni Ferrero, according to Forbes’ production Noodella.
His Delfin holding company is the largest shareholder in Italian financial services group Mediobanca and holds less than 10% stake in Generali, Italy’s largest insurance company. It owns about 7% of Covivio, a real estate company listed in both Paris and Milan.
“With the death of Del Vecchio, Milan is losing one of the most iconic figures in its recent history,” Milan Mayor Giuseppe Salah said on Twitter.
Shares of Mediobanca fell more than 4% after the report, generally down nearly 2.5%, while EssilorLuxottica – which controls 32% of Delfin – remained unchanged at 148 euros.