CEO of Ulysse Nardin Taking Over Girard-Perregaux

Kering has appointed Patrick Pruniaux (pictured), who currently serves as the CEO of Ulysse Nardin, to take over a second Swiss watch brand, Girard-Perregaux.

He replaces Antonio Calce, who has headed parent division Sowind Group since 2015, and whose departure was reported last month by the Swiss press.

Pruniaux will also head JeanRichard, the more affordable Girard-Perregaux sister brand, which has traditionally been part of the Sowind Group, says a spokesperson.

Both Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux are owned by Kering. The luxury conglomerate, formerly known as PPR, has owned Girard-Perregaux since 2011, when it took a controlling position in Sowind.

Pruiniaux is a longtime veteran of the watch industry. He spent nine years at TAG Heuer, rising to vice president of global sales and retail. But he may be best known for his three-year decampment to Apple, beginning in 2014, where he was part of the team that launched the Apple Watch. The tech giant initially hoped to position its smartwatch to compete in the high-end timepiece market, but the company eventually retreated from that strategy.

Pruniaux then served as managing director of Apple in the United Kingdom and Ireland before moving to head Ulysse Nardin in 2017.

A statement said his goal “will be to devise a coherent strategy for accelerating the development of the two maisons in international markets, while at the same time maintaining their unique characteristics, their ability to innovate, and the excellence of their know-how.”

In his new role, he will report to Albert Bensoussan, the CEO of watch and jewelry activities for Kering.

Bensoussan said in a statement: “The dynamism [Pruiniaux} has shown over the past year as head of Ulysse Nardin convinced me that he was the best person to develop these two brands and to capitalize on their respective identities, heritages, and technological know-how.”

(Image courtesy of Kering)

JCK News Director