Watch industry veteran Gedalio Grinberg, 76, founder of the Movado Group, will retire as chairman of its board on Dec. 31. The announcement was made Thursday by the company.
Grinberg will remain on the board with the title of Founder and chairman emeritus.
Efraim Grinberg, his son, 50, who joined the company in 1980, will become the new chairman, and also will continue as president (since 1990) and chief executive officer (since 2001).
He noted that his father is, “widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the luxury watch industry in North America. Since starting our company in 1961, he’s been our leader in developing a brand-building reputation with distinctive imaging across a powerful portfolio of brands and geographic markets. I’ve been fortunate to learn the watch business from the ground floor up under the tutelage of a great visionary and business man.
“As we build on the solid foundation of the mission and values he established, we look forward to continuing to grow Movado Group and further strengthening its position as a leading company in the watch industry. We look forward, too, to his ongoing counsel and his continued involvement in our company.”
The career in the U.S. watch business of Gedalio Grinberg, an immigrant from Cuba, spans 47 years, starting in 1961 as a distributor of luxury watches in North America, with annual sales of $175,000. In 1969, the company, then known as North American Watch Corp., went public the first time with approximately $5 million in annual sales. In 1993, it re-entered the public market as a $130 million business and has since grown to an international $560 million enterprise.
“I’m proud of all that our company has accomplished with the help of our employees and the confidence of our investors,” Gedalio Grinberg said. “After establishing a luxury watch business as a distributor in North America with two brands, our company strategically shifted its focus [in the 1970s] onto designing, manufacturing and distributing our own brands and as a licensee. It acquired Concord in 1970, reviving an icon of modernism in Movado, launched ESQ in 1993, expanded into the licensed watch category, and most recently, acquired Ebel.”
He added, “Along the way, we’ve established a strong track record and developed a company with great financial strength and a strong balance sheet.”
The elder Grinberg, among many honros, was the first recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jewelry Information Center in January 2003.
“There are so many opportunities ahead for Movado Group,” he added. “I’m confident Efraim and the management team we’ve developed around the world will lead our company to heightened levels of performance and enable our shareholders, employees and customers to continue to prosper and grow.”
Movado Group, Inc., Paramus, N.J., designs, produces, and distributes Movado, Ebel, Concord, ESQ, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture and Lacoste watches worldwide, and operates Movado boutiques and company stores in the United States.