Breitling sources confirm rival Richemont’s watch chief is its new CEO

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 17:  Rosamund Pike (L) and IWC CEO Georges Kern attend the IWC Schaffhausen "Decoding the Beauty of Time" Gala Dinner during the launch of the Da Vinci Novelties from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) on January 17, 2017 in Geneva, .  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for IWC) *** Local Caption *** Rosamund Pike; Georges KernGENEVA, SWITZERLAND – JANUARY 17: Rosamund Pike (L) and IWC CEO Georges Kern attend the IWC Schaffhausen “Decoding the Beauty of Time” Gala Dinner during the launch of the Da Vinci Novelties from the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) on January 17, 2017 in Geneva, . (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for IWC) *** Local Caption *** Rosamund Pike; Georges Kern

Breitling has appointed Richemont chief of watchmaking, digital and marketing as its new CEO, sources close to the brand have confirmed to WatchPro.

His appointment as the company’s new leader comes after his unexpected departure from Richemont last week.

Following Mr Kern’s resignation rumours quickly emerged that the Richemont chief was heading for a rival company.

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Mr Kern, who started his career at Richemont 17 years ago, was leading IWC last year when he was put in interim charge of the Watchmaking division in November. The position was then made permanent.

He had previously led a turnround at Richemont brand IWC Schaffhausen, where he was chief executive from 2002 until March this year.

In his new role, Kern will be responsible for the company’s global development and focus on the digital and retail footprint, especially in the Asian markets.

Breitling is expected to formally announce his appointment in the coming days.

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