Nicolas G. Hayek Sr., 73, chief executive and chairman of The Swatch Group, the world’s largest watchmaker, is stepping down this year as CEO, though he will remain chairman. Hayek’s marketing and business expertise is widely credited with reviving the Swiss watch industry in the 1980s.
Succeeding him as CEO of the conglomerate, which owns 18 major watch brands in all major price categories, is his son Nicholas (“Nick”) G. Hayek Jr., 47, who has been CEO of Swatch Ltd. and a member of The Swatch Group board.
Hayek Sr. made the announcement May 7 at the annual press conference on the Group’s financial results in Biel, Switzerland. He has been transferring his CEO chores to his son for 18 months. “He now has over 70% of my duties,” Hayek said.