Gucci is an Italian luxury brand founded by Guccio Gucci. The store was first opened in Florence in 1921. The Gucci brand is one of the most prominent fashion brands that were a well-rooted wealthy family’s business but dramatically ended as a non-family managed business, due to the long hostile fight between family members that started with legal battles and ended up with the murder of one of the family members.
The movie “House of Gucci” filmed the most controversial and outrageous story in history, where the film highlighted some significant legal disputes. The story begins with the death of Rodolfo Gucci, leaving shares of inheritance to his son Maurizio, who was accused of forging his father’s signature in order to be entitled to the majority stake of the Gucci Company. Facing prosecution, Maurizio fled to Switzerland to avoid being charged, but was later acquitted.
While Patrizia, Maurizio’s wife, grew up in a poor family. She strived to be a part of the most elite family in history and carry the “Gucci” name. Since, Maurizio loved her, she was able to convince him to remove his uncle Aldo, from the chairmanship and majority control of the company.
Therefore, Maurizio started a hostile legal battle against his uncle on the claim of tax evasion. In one of the most publicized cases involving the Italian designer of Gucci, his uncle Aldo was imprisoned on the grounds of a tax evasion conviction and later released.
Consequently, Maurizio forced his uncle to sell his shares so he would not have major control over the company. Despite the fact that Aldo’s son is a Gucci family member, a lawsuit was filed against him by Maurizio on the basis of intellectual property violation, which prevented Aldo’s son from using the Gucci trademark in his production.
The business suffered due to the devastating events that befell the Gucci family and Maurizio’s poor management, as it generated fewer profits than usual. Following these incidents, Maurizio was killed later and his murder remained a mystery until the revelation of his ex-wife Patrizia’s involvement as a motivated crime of revenge.
She was later found guilty and sentenced for 29 years in prison after a high-profile trial. Inevitably, no Gucci family member has remained in charge of running the Gucci business, as to this day the ownership of the Gucci is outside the family.
The film was criticized by the Gucci family, stating that the film was inaccurate and far from the truth. However, it has been said that the Gucci family has no intention of seeking legal action against the film’s producer. The narrative events that led the Gucci family business dynasty to collapse started when the third generation of family members were involved in the business and failed to protect it.
Therefore, a set of family business’ covenant shall be agreed upon by the family members in order to preserve the family business transition to its third generation and more. The most common reason for family businesses destruction is giving power to management solely for carrying the family name and not on the basis of qualification.
Another factor that makes family businesses struggle to survive is the lack of corporate governance. The Italian brand Gucci tells the story of many other family businesses that struggle to position themselves or elevate to the next level in business.