10 Questions for Robert Polet

Two months into the job, Gucci's new CEO talks about helming the global luxury group and his growing personal shoe collection

In July, Polet, 49, became CEO of Gucci Group, the world's third largest luxury conglomerate. He comes from an unlikely place--Unilever, where he was head of the frozen food and ice cream division--and has a tough mandate: sail Gucci, fix Yves Saint Laurent (where losses widened to $135 million in 2003) and mesh both of them with half a dozen younger businesses into a profitable whole. Here Polet talks with Sarah Raper Larenaudie about barnstorming Gucci facilities to meet and greet--and reassure.

HOW DOES AN EXECUTIVE RUNNING THE WORLD'S LARGEST ICE CREAM BUSINESS LAND AT GUCCI?

The first time [a headhunter]...

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