Italian businessman and chairman of EssilorLuxottica, (exotic spectacles maker) Leonardo Del Vecchio has died at the age of 87 years.
His company on Monday confirmed the death of the Italian billionaire, who is also known as one of the country’s wealthiest business personality, CNN reports.
After his demise, a statement released by the group read, “EssilorLuxottica sadly announces today that its chairman has passed away,” It also revealed that the board would meet to “determine the next steps.”
On his exploits in business, Del Vecchio rose from a childhood in an orphanage to amass a fortune of tens of billions of euros in one of the most famous rags-to-riches stories in Italy’s post-war economic recovery.
In reaction to his death, European Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni on Twitter said, “Leonardo Del Vecchio was a great Italian. His story, from orphanage to leadership of a business empire, seems like a story from another time. But it is an example for today and tomorrow. RIP”.
Sources say the group designs, produces and markets ophthalmic lenses, optical equipment, prescription glasses and sunglasses.
He founded Luxottica in 1961 and built up a company that owned the Ray-Ban brand and combined forces with France’s Essilor in a major merger in 2018.