Lvmh watch week 2020 3

Arnault family reshuffle expected as succession drama at LVMH continues

Frédéric Arnault is rumoured to be moving to Bulgari after three years as CEO of TAG Heuer, with Julien Tornare taking his place after a successful turnaround of Zenith.

LVMH is declining to comment on a Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) report that Frédéric Arnault, son of the group’s chairman and chief executive Bernard Arnault, is moving to a senior role at Bulgari after three year’s as CEO of TAG Heuer.

Switzerland’s leading German language newspaper NZZ reports that Julien Tornare, who has been viewed as a rising star within the conglomerate after successfully transforming Zenith since taking over as CEO in 2017, will take over from Frédéric Arnault at TAG Heuer.

Respected NZZ business editor Dr. Andrea Martel says well-informed sources shared the information, but has not had it confirmed by LVMH.

The Arnault family has taken leading roles within the watchmaking operations of LVMH in recent years, despite them making up only a small fraction of the group’s revenue.

Morgan Stanley estimates combined sales from its watchmakers at €2.1 billion from group turnover of €79.2 billion in 2022.

Jean Arnault, the youngest of the five Arnault children, joined La Fabrique du Temps, which makes watches for Louis Vuitton and Daniel Roth, as business as director of marketing and development.

Master watchmakers Michael Navas and Enrico Barbasini still run operations, but Jean Arnault is director of watches for Louis Vuitton, and effectively setting a new path for La Fabrique du Temps, including a new plan to make watches under the Gerald Genta name.

Bernard Arnault, who has been described as the world’s richest man this year as LVMH’s share price has risen and major tech stocks have cooled, is said to be grooming his five children from two marriages to take over the empire.

His eldest, Delphine, is considered the front runner to take over the reigns at LVMH from her 74-year-old father.

She became chief executive of Dior, the group’s second largest brand, earlier this year.

Previously, she was deputy CEO of Louis Vuitton, LVMH’s biggest maison.

Antoine Arnault is CEO and vice chairman of LVMH holding company Christian Dior SE as well as CEO of Berluti and chairman of Loro Piana.

Alexandre Arnault is busily transforming Tiffany & Co. following LVMH’s acquisition of the global luxury jeweller for $16 billion in 2020.

Bulgari’s jewellery business is larger than all LVMH sales from watches, so a move there from TAG Heuer would give Frédéric Arnault broader experience.

NZZ’s report is unclear on whether Mr Arnault would report to Jean Christophe Babin, the current CEO at Bulgari.

The family reportedly gets together for business breakfasts whenever possible to share ideas on how the different arms of the business are performing.

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1 Comment

  1. A good move for both Brands, TAG-Heuer is in need of a firm hand and direction as Biver days had used the Brand as the ‘Cash-cow’ to drive his mono-design Hublot to higher market positions. TAG-Heuer needs to return to their pre-Biver days when they challenged their own Horological Watermarks with the 1/100 and 1/1000 Chrono’s and respect, but not be dependent on the Homage Category of Autavia, Monaco, Carrera, or the mortal sin of transposing Collection Identifiers, i.e. Link Bracelet on Formula-1, compromising a higher end Collection which as S/el gave the Brand re-birth in the late 1980’s and pre-millennia, and can do so again with the right cosmetic. Bring back the Uni-directional bezel to this Collection, get back to the Sea, which has been ceded to Omega, Breitling, Tudor and pretenders like B&R, Bremont etc.. bring back the Aqua-Graph in (SS, Titanium, Bronze, Black DLC, Blue DLC) w/Calender and Zulu Hand. Go to the 1000 Collection and give the market an alternative to ‘Black Bay’. Disrupt the Market as was done by the original Team from 1988-1998, be audacious again. I wish Julien Tornare much success going forward if this becomes his responsibility.

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