World Gold Council appoints new managing director for U.S. market

The World Gold Council has appointed John Calnon as managing director, United States. He succeeds Michael C. Barlerin, who has retired from his position of managing director, Americas. Calnon’s appointment is effective June 1.

As part of the changes in the New York office, Rick Bannerot, VP, U.S. jewelry advertising, has left the company after four years with the WGC. Prior to joining the WGC, Bannerot was at Rolex Watch USA, Inc. for twelve years where he was assistant vice president, advertising & event marketing.

Calnon re-joined the WGC as director, international jewelry, in March 2001. He previously worked at QVC where he was vice president of jewelry, having led the electronic retailer to a leadership position in fine jewelry sales. Prior to joining QVC in 1996, Calnon spent six years with the World Gold Council where he directed the very successful trade development programs. Calnon will direct a three-year, strategic program with leading retail partners to increase gold jewelry sales and market share in the U.S.

“John brings with him both significant and relevant experience, as well as a knowledgeable leadership position in the jewelry industry, said James Burton, chief executive of the World Gold Council. “He will drive our ‘Speak Gold’ communication to boost gold demand in this key consumer market.”

Michael Barlerin has been the senior WGC executive in the Americas for sixteen years, during which time he has played a key role in driving the WGC’s programs to increase the demand for gold in all its forms throughout the region. Barlerin joined WGC from American Vision Center, the retail optical chain, where he was president and COO. Before that, he spent seven years with the Zale Corp., the world’s largest retail jeweler, during which time he held a number of management positions before being appointed senior vice president, director of marketing.

“Michael Barlerin has made an invaluable contribution during his time with the World Gold Council, helping to steer the team in its quest to forge strong and enduring relationships with both trade and retail partners, and working to execute our strategy throughout the region,” Burton said. “Going forward, I am delighted that he has agreed to continue to work with us in an advisory capacity.”