In a strategic move, Hawkers, a fashion phenomenon and a symbol of entrepreneurship in Spain, has revamped its board of directors. The departure of Cristian Rodríguez Fornos, founder of Byhours, marks a significant shift in the company’s leadership. Simultaneously, Hawkers is forging ahead with its growth plans, having recently inaugurated its first optical store in northern Mexico City.

Board Restructuring and Leadership Changes

Hawkers, controlled by Venezuelan entrepreneur Alejandro Leopoldo Betancourt, has spent several months reshaping its board of directors. In late March, the company removed Christian Rodríguez Fornos from his position as a board member. Rodríguez had joined the Saldum Ventures board (the parent company of Hawkers) in 2016 when Hawkers acquired Northweek, a brand in which he had previously invested. His departure was formalized in April 2023.

The current Saldum Ventures board comprises six members:

  1. Alejandro Betancourt (President)
  2. Gonzalo Guzmán de Frutos López (Vice President, and a member of Betancourt’s family)
  3. Ignacio Puig (former CEO of the company)
  4. Andrés Navarro Toledo
  5. Félix Ruiz Navarro
  6. Karl Roberto Jio

These board changes reflect a natural renewal process, according to Pedro Beneyto, the current CEO of Hawkers. Beneyto also emphasized that Betancourt’s ownership stake in the company remains stable.

Relocation to Madrid and Return to Elche

In another strategic move, Hawkers shifted its headquarters to Madrid in February. Previously based in Elche, Alicante, where the Hawkers phenomenon began, the company has now set up its social headquarters at 62 Alfonso XII Street in Madrid. However, Beneyto assures that this relocation is temporary, and the central offices will eventually return to Elche—the birthplace of the brand—while maintaining their presence in Madrid and Mexico.

Hawkers, known for its stylish eyewear, continues to evolve under Betancourt’s ownership. The consolidation of secondary brands—such as Miss Hamptons (women’s line), Batleboro (specializing in watches), and Northweek (originally a Barcelona-based rival, later acquired by Hawkers in 2016)—into the primary Play Hawkers brand demonstrates the company’s commitment to growth and innovation.

As the optical industry landscape evolves, Hawkers remains agile, adaptive, and poised for further expansion. Its recent entry into the Mexican market signals a new chapter in the brand’s global journey.

Continue reading (Modaes, in Spanish): Hawkers reordena su consejo con la salida del fundador de Byhours y abre una óptica en México