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Pasquale Natuzzi to oversee Natuzzi Americas as Di Gaetano leaves

HIGH POINT — Fernando Di Gaetano, who was named president of Natuzzi Americas less than a year ago, has left the company, the leather upholstery producer confirmed Monday.

The company said founder and Chairman Pasquale Natuzzi will oversee Natuzzi Americas as it plans a "new marketing and commercial strategy."

Natuzzi Americas is the High Point-based entity that handles sales and marketing of Natuzzi products in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. It wasn't immediately clear if the company plans to hire a permanent replacement for Di Gaetano.

Di Gaetano, who previously worked for IBM and the Italian fashion consortium Ermenegildo Zegna, was hired in October after Joe Mussallem, who had been Natuzzi Americas president since 2010, left the company.

Although its business in North America has been growing the past two years, the upholstery producer has been struggling with declining sales in other parts of the world, notably Europe.

Last week, the company announced plans to lay off more than 1,700 employees in Italy, but put those plans on hold at the request of the Italian government.

The high-end Natuzzi Italia line is made in Italy, but other Natuzzi products sold in North America are made at Natuzzi factories in China and Brazil.

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