De Beers LV Names New CEO

De Beers LV, the new retail joint venture of De Beers and LVMH, has appointed a former Cartier chief as its new CEO.

Guy Leymarie, 47, headed Cartier from 2001 to 2002. He replaces Alain Lorenzo, a veteran LVMH executive who said he was leaving the post for personal reasons. Lorenzo will be assigned a new position within LVMH.

De Beers LV spokeswoman Joan Parker says the resignation was not a sign of problems, adding that the chain has turned a corner.

“When we first opened [on London’s Bond Street], it was around the time of the Iraq war, and things were slow all over Bond Street,” she says. “At the moment, Tokyo is doing well, and sales in London are way over projections.”

She also denies reports—such as a recent one in the Wall Street Journal —suggesting that De Beers needs to settle its U.S. antitrust problems so it can open stores in the United States, noting that De Beers LV is a separate entity.

“They have been settling their antitrust issues for as long as I can remember,” she says. “But they’ve always felt the retail operation wouldn’t be challenged, or they wouldn’t have moved ahead with it.”