Leonardo Del Vecchio Biography
Leonardo delo Vecchio was born on 22 May 1935, in Milan Italy, and is best known as the founder and chairman of Luxottica. Leonardo is ranked by Forbes magazine in 2015 as the second richest person, and richest man in Italy, and the 40th richest person in the world.
Leonardo Del Vecchio Net Worth $20 Billion
So just how rich is Leonardo del Vecchio? Forbes magazine estimates that in 2015 Leonardo’s net worth is over $20 billion, the vast majority of his wealth having been generated through his efforts in building-up the Luxottica company.
Leonardo del Vecchio had a tough childhood – his father died prior to his birth, and his mother subsequently sent him to an orphanage when he was seven. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed as a toolmaker, with which acquired skills he was able to then concentrate on making spectacles (eyeglasses), and later specifically on sunglasses.
His apprenticeship may have earned Leonardo Del Vecchio a little money, but the growth in his real net worth began in 1961, when he founded Luxottica at the age of 25, which he has chaired ever since, and is now valued in the region of $10 billion. He was able to start contract-selling of complete eyeglasses in 1967, and then branch out on his own in the early 70s.
Leonardo was sure that vertical integration was needed to improve his business, from manufacturing to face-to-face customer service, so in 1974 he acquired Scarrone, a distribution company. In 1981 Luxottica set up its first international subsidiary, in Germany, which initiated a period of considerable international expansion. Then the first of many licensing deals with designers was struck with Armani, in 1988. Of course, all through this period, Leonardo del Vecchio’s net worth was rising steadily.
The company really began a significant expansion when Leonardo del Vecchio listed Luxottica on NYSE in 1990, and eventually on the Milan Stock Exchange in December 2000, joining the MIB-30 (now S&P/MIB) index in September 2003. These listings enabled the company to acquire other brands, starting with Italian brand Vogue in 1990.
Now the world’s largest producer and retailer of sunglasses and prescription glasses, Luxottica owns Sunglass Hut, LensCrafters, Ray-Ban and Oakley. The company now owns over 6000 stores around the world, and has 75,000 employees. In addition the company manufactures glasses for virtually every luxury brand in the world, including Burberry, Bulgari, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany and Versace. Del Vecchio’s net worth? His wealth has never stopped growing.
Leonardo Del Vecchio also owns stakes in the Italian insurance giant Assicurazioni Generali and French real estate company Foncière des Régions, plus in the Italian bank UniCredit.
Leonardo del Vecchio is somewhat reserved regarding details of his private life; he has three children with his first wife, one with his second wife Nicoletta Zampillo, and two with his current wife.