Wunderman Replaces Orloff at Corum USA

Michael Wunderman, formerly president of luxury watch brand Montres Corum, has replaced Stacie Orloff as president of Corum USA, in an unexpected top management restructuring of the North American operation. Orloff had been president of Corum USA, based in Irvine, Cal., since its establishment in 2000.

Two new top posts—vice president of sales and vice president of operations, duties formerly under Orloff’s purview—have also been added to Corum USA’s operation.

Wunderman’s former job as president of Montres Corum remains vacant. However, he continues as vice-chairman of its executive board, which his father Severin Wunderman chairs, as well as a member of its creation committee.

Antonio Calce, general manager of Montres Corum continues to oversee operations at its headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The changes were announced Jan. 7.

Corum owner Severin Wunderman purchased the brand in 2000 after 25 years of producing Gucci Timepieces. His son Michael, 32, helped define Corum’s global strategy, especially in product design and brand communication. In 2004, he was named president of Montres Corum.

“Living in Switzerland and re-building Corum to the successful brand it is today has been challenging and rewarding,” he said. Now, its direction is “clearly defined for the future. Our operational structure is strong, and I no longer need to be involved in the day-to-day of the company.”

Returning home to California, after relocating in 2000 to Switzerland, Wunderman said, “My focus will be to continue to build on its success in North America,” he said.

Stacie Orloff worked with the Severin family for 25 years, first at Gucci Timepieces and since 2000, as president of Corum USA. She and her team, she recalled for JCK, “pioneered Corum’s successful move into the luxury sector market, which wasn’t easy. I consider that the crowning achievement of myself and my team. I’m very proud of that and of the relationships we developed with our retailers. It’s a wonderful network.”

When Orloff and her team introduced Corum to the U.S. market, it had no points of sale and its entry price was $1,500. Today, its range is $3,000 to $500,000 (with most sales between $8,000 and $10,000), with 175 points of sale in North America (including five in Canada and 30 in Caribbean).

While Orloff didn’t have plans, yet, in the wake of the sudden changes, she told JCK, “I’m confident that when one door closes, another opens.”

Other changes to Corum USA’s structure include appointment of Johnny Wizman to the new post of vice president of sales. Wizman, who is Severin Wunderman’s nephew and Michael Wunderman’s cousin, has worked with the family for over 10 years at Gucci Timepieces and Corum.

Scott Nichols, until recently chief financial officer of Montres Corum, is Corum USA’s new vice president of operations. He also worked at Gucci Timepieces and with Corum since 2000.