There is no agreement on the exit, the discussions are still ongoing, but in essence the brilliant success story of Francesco Pugliese at the Conad Guide has reached the end credits. The manager, who has been at the helm of the national consortium of retailers for almost 20 years, is about to expire and will leave with the next assembly in May. In place of him some candidates. Among these, that of the current president of Legacoop, Mauro Lusetti.
The Legacoop assembly convened for the appointment of the new president is scheduled for next May-June.
The tumultuous growth of Conad
Francesco Pugliese took over the leadership of the Conad group in 2004. Until then he had been a long-term manager first in Barilla (where he had gone from head of the Barilla sales force in the South to sales manager for Italy and then sales manager of Barilla Europe) and then in Yomo (another brand to which he had reached the threshold of bankruptcy and which he reorganized in a short time and then sold to Granarolo).
At the helm of Conad Pugliese has led the Group, in just under twenty years, to more than double its turnover – from 8 to 18.5 billion euros – and to the leadership by market share of the large brands distribution in Italy.
From the initial difficulties
Pugliese took over the leadership of the large-scale distribution group in a difficult situation when the bankruptcy of Sisa (Italian associated supermarket company) of Puglia, one of the cooperatives that Conad used to supply local points of sale, was decreed. Francesco Pugliese’s adventure in Conad took off from that difficult situation and in almost twenty years, in addition to the doubling of the group’s turnover, he saw other important moments of transition: the great process of integration of the cooperatives that make up Conad (from 8 to 4 with a key role and a centrality assigned to the Consortium and which it did not have before), the tumultuous development of the Private label, i.e. private label products which in the case of Conad have reached a market share of 30% and, in more recent years, the merger by incorporation of Auchan which decreed a further step in growth in size and turnover.