Leonardo del Vecchio's right-hand man on Monday took the reins of the 27 billion euros ($28 billion) holding company left behind after the Italian eyewear billionaire's death last week.
Delfin, Del Vecchio's Luxembourg-based holding company, said it had appointed the Italian tycoon's most trusted aide Francesco Milleri as chairman.
Milleri, 63, started as an IT consultant at Luxottica, the spectacle business Del Vecchio founded in 1961. Last year he became CEO of EssilorLuxottica after playing a key role in the negotiations that led to Luxottica's merger with French lens maker Essilor.
Following Del Vecchio's death, Milleri has also taken on the role of EssilorLuxottica's chairman.
His appointment at Delfin suggests there will not be any big changes in the way the holding firm manages Del Vecchio's assets, spanning eyewear to banks and property, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
In a further sign of continuity, Delfin said on Monday its Chief Executive Romolo Bardin, another of Del Vecchio's longstanding associates, would continue in his role.
Del Vecchio has left his business empire to his six children, his wife Nicoletta Zampillo and her son from a previous marriage.
They now each own 12.5% of Delfin, whose main asset is a 32% stake in EssilorLuxottica, worth some 20 billion euros.
Delfin is also the single biggest shareholder in Milanese merchant bank Mediobanca with 19.4%, and the second-biggest investor in Italy's top insurer Generali with 9.8%.
Delfin also owns 27% of Paris-listed Covivio and is a long-time investor in bank UniCredit with a 2% stake.
Zampillo, whom Del Vecchio remarried in 2010 after divorcing her a decade earlier, was originally expected to inherit Del Vecchio's 25% stake in Delfin.
The opening of Del Vecchio's will on Saturday showed that her son Rocco Basilico had received half of Del Vecchio's stake.
Basilico, 32, is head of wearable technologies at Luxottica.
As head of Luxottica's Californian brand Oliver Peoples, Basilico was instrumental in introducing Del Vecchio to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The encounter led to the 2020 partnership between Facebook and EssilorLuxottica and the launch, in September 2021, of Ray-Ban Stories, smart glasses starting at $299 provided with a camera, speakers and microphones for calls and videos. ($1 = 0.9591 euros)
(Writing by Valentina Za. Editing by Jane Merriman)