William Devine, 40, has been appointed by the Gucci Group N.V. as chief executive officer of its Swiss luxury watch company Bedat & Co. He replaces Christian Bédat, who, with his mother, started the company in 1996. It was bought by Gucci in 2000. Bédat resigned in October 2006. No reason was given, though some earlier press reports suggested he differed with Gucci over plans for the brand.
Devine will oversee “further development of the Bedat brand in line with current strategy,” said the Gucci announcement in December. He reports directly to Jean-Christophe Bedos, CEO of Boucheron, the Paris-based luxury jewelry and watch company owned by Gucci. He has overseen Bedat & Co. since October.
Devine has over 12 years in the Swiss watch and jewelry industry, including senior posts at Montres Universal S.A.; Robergé Watches S.A.; de Grisogono S.A.; and Perficio S.A., an investment firm focusing on the watch and jewelry business. In 2002, he was briefly show director of the international BaselWorld watch and jewelry trade fair.
Gucci Group’s portfolio includes the brands Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bedat & Co., Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Gucci, Roger & Gallet, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney, YSL Beauté and Yves Saint Laurent. Gucci Group is owned by PPR, a global retail and luxury goods firm.