Richemont has new CEO

Norbert Platt is the new boss of the Swiss-based Richemont group, the world’s second-largest luxury goods group. His appointment as chief executive officer was announced Sept. 16, at Richemont’s annual meeting, where the company also said it had a 17% gain in sales between April and August.

Platt, formerly head of Richemont’s successful Montblanc luxury pens and watches division (which he joined 17 years ago), took over immediately, replacing Johann Rupert, Richemont’s executive chairman who had held the CEO job since last October. Rupert, who remains chairman, told the general meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, that he had intended to step down as CEO once “our performance had turned around. We have now arrived at that point. Our balance sheet is in excellent shape, our cash flows are strong, and our Maisons [divisions] are performing better and better.”

The luxury goods giant reported that, by regions, its sales rose 34% in Asia-Pacific, 12% in Europe, and 13% in the Americas. Japan registered a 4% increase. By divisions, sales rose 12% in jewelry, 19% in watches, 18% in writing instruments, and 6% in accessories and leather goods.

Richemont is best known for its Cartier luxury watches and jewelry but owns 18 luxury brands in watches and jewelry (including Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Baume and Mercier, Lange & Sohne, Vacheron Constantin, Panerai, Montblanc, and Dunhill), accessories, and clothing.