TAG Heuer president and chief executive officer Stéphane Linder has resigned from his position with LVMH watch division boss Jean-Claude Biver will take over leadership of the beleaguered brand, at least in the interim.
A statement released yesterday by TAG Heuer read: “"Stéphane Linder has decided today to resign from his role of President & CEO of TAG Heuer to pursue other professional endeavours.
“Jean-Claude Biver thanks Stéphane for his outstanding contribution to the development of the brand during the 21 years he spent at TAG Heuer.”
The statement went on to confirm that Biver would take over from Linder, who took the top job at TAG Heuer in June last year, in the interim.
Biver was appointed head of LVMH’s watch division back in March and has overseen a reorganisation designed to prevent TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot from competing for each other’s customers. The move appears to have squeezed TAG Heuer into an entry level position in terms of the group’s watch brands and has curtailed many of the brand’s supplementary activities and supporting products lines.
In September TAG Heuer cut 46 jobs in management and production as well as putting 49 employees on ‘partial employment’ it is understood that TAG Heuer will be repositioned to offer an CHF1,000-3,000 (£650-1,950) entry point to LVMH’s watch portfolio.
The brand has ceased production of its own CH80 chronograph movement, despite CHF10million (£6.6m) facilities having only recently been opened in Chevenez, instead focusing on its more affordable 1887 movement. TAG Heuer’s production of leather goods has also been scrapped and questions have also been raised over the brand’s continuing involvement in sports timing and haute horlogerie.