Gucci Group Integrates Watch Business

The Gucci Group N.V., one of the world’s leading luxury goods companies, said June 30 that it will integrate its Gucci Group Watches division into its Gucci brand division, headed by Mark Lee, president and chief executive officer. Lee will now also oversee the watch business.

Watch industry veteran Jacques-Philippe Auriol, who has been CEO of GGW, will leave the company when his contract expires later this year. Until then, he will remain to ensure a smooth transition. In the past couple of years, Auriol had overseen the reorganizing and upgrading of the Gucci brand as a luxury watch. The first fruits of that—including the new models Gucci Twirl, La Guccio, and Bamboo rubber— debuted this year. Prior to joining Gucci, Auriol was with the Richemont luxury group and CEO of Baume & Mercier.

Merging the two divisions is for strategic reasons and would combine Swiss watch expertise with the brand management skills.

The Gucci Group N.A., part of France’s PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute) luxury goods group but headquartered in the Netherlands, produces and distributes a variety of luxury items, including watches, jewelry, clothing, shoes, ties and scarves, eyewear, perfume, and cosmetics. Its brands include Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bedat & Co., Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney, and Yves Saint Laurent.