* Long-term CEO Bolzonello quits, marketing head Presca
* Geox to open shops in Asia to offset Europe, U.S. sale
MILAN, Sept 29 Italian upmarket shoemaker Geox
appointed a new chief executive on Friday in a
management shake-up aimed at boosting expansion in Asia to
offset weaker sales in western markets.
In a statement on Friday evening, Geox said it had appointed
marketing and product development head Giorgio Presca as new
chief executive of the group, replacing long-term CEO Diego
Bolzonello who had worked with Geox since its launch in 1995.
The change comes at a crucial moment for the maker of
"breathable" shoes, which reported declining sales and profits
in Europe and the United States in the first half.
Geox is aiming to revive its business by launching new
fashionable, coloured products appealing to wealthy customers
from emerging countries.
Polegato, one of the country's most influential businessmen,
is pushing Geox into emerging markets to limit exposure to
recession-hit Italy, which accounts for 36 percent of sales.
Geox said in July it expected sales to fall by between 6-8
percent in 2012, citing adverse economic conditions its western
The company, which has a free cash flow of 32.3 million
euros ($41.55 million), said it would open shops and hire
managers to grow in Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia this year.
Geox is targeting revenues of around 100 million euros in
China and Hong Kong in 2016 as a result of new planned store
openings in the region.
($1 = 0.7773 euros)
(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; editing by James Jukwey)