LVMH has appointed Stéphane Bianchi (pictured) as new CEO of its watchmaking division, replacing Jean-Claude Biver, effective Nov. 1.
In his new role, Bianchi will directly lead the group’s popular TAG Heuer brand. In addition, the CEOs of LMVH watch brands Hublot and Zenith will report to him.
Bianchi, 53, is a newcomer to the world of watches. A former consultant for Arthur Andersen, he spent most of his career at Yves Rocher Group, the beauty and cosmetics company, eventually serving as the group’s CEO from 1998 to 2015.
As reported last week, Biver, a larger-than-life, high-profile figure who has worked for LVMH for the last decade, and headed its watch division since 2014, will now become nonexecutive chairman of the watch division, a nonoperational position.
In a statement, the industry veteran said that “after 45 years in the watch industry, I would like to focus more specifically on advising and sharing my experience.”
While there had been reports of medical issues, Biver told JCK that “my health will be back soon and I will continue to rock our industry.”
The company also announced that Frédéric Arnault, the 23-year-old son of LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, has been appointed strategy and digital director of TAG Heuer. According to his profile on Linkedin, Frédéric Arnault has interned at Facebook and previously served as TAG Heuer’s director of connected technologies, from September 2017 to September 2018.
In a statement, Bernard Arnault called Bianchi “a very talented manager,” and continued, “we had decided to work together for several years. I am sure that he will continue the successful development of our watchmaking division, whilst respecting the values that Jean-Claude Biver has instilled within it.”
He added that he was “delighted that the group will continue to benefit from Jean-Claude’s advice, and I am sure that his entrepreneurial spirit will bring many innovative new ideas to the world of watchmaking.”
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