Four Richemont Brand CEOs Said to Depart as Overhaul WidensBy , , and
New CEOs at Vacheron, Dunhill, Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre
Dunhill’s new chief said to be Burberry executive Andrew Maag
Richemont plans to expand its management overhaul by naming new chief executive officers of four luxury brands including Alfred Dunhill, according to people familiar with the matter.
Andrew Maag, head of Europe, Middle East, India and Africa at U.K. fashion house Burberry Group Plc, will join as CEO of Dunhill, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. Also being replaced are the heads of three watch brands. Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Daniel Riedo will leave at the end of February for other opportunities, while the chiefs of Piaget and Vacheron Constantin will retire, another person said.
The changes were in the works in November when the Swiss luxury-goods maker eliminated the companywide CEO position, one of the people said. Watchmakers are emerging from their worst year for exports since 2009. Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert has said the company needs to name younger managers who are in tune with what luxury consumers want.
The changes would “reflect a more nimble and streamlined executive model,” John Guy, an analyst at MainFirst Bank AG, wrote in a note to clients.
Vacheron Constantin CEO Juan-Carlos Torres and Piaget CEO Philippe Leopold-Metzger will remain non-executive presidents, one of the people said. Georges Kern, CEO of watchmaker IWC, will take on the Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO position on an interim basis as he becomes head of all watchmaking at Richemont, that person said.
Last year, Cyrille Vigneron took over management of Richemont’s Cartier brand, which has cut jobs, repurchased unsold watches and refocused on less expensive models.
“I want to see less grey men, less grey Frenchmen, as a subcategory,” on the board, Rupert said at a meeting with investors in November. “We have too few women. We don’t have enough diversity.”
The changes show Richemont is reacting to the downturn, said Zuzanna Pusz, an analyst at Berenberg. She added that the “departure of another four executives responsible for an estimated 15 percent of total business could cause some short-term concerns” by disrupting the brands.
Richemont makes watches under 12 brands including Ralph Lauren and Baume & Mercier. The company said Jan. 12 that sales of timepieces in its own stores returned to growth in the three months through December.
Maag joined Burberry in 2006 as senior vice president of menswear, and before that held executive roles at Limited Brands, Donna Karan and Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic.
Separately, Chloe Creative Director Clare Waight Keller said she’s leaving the Richemont fashion brand after six years, commenting in a statement.