What do the leaders of the world’s largest luxury conglomerates do while stuck at home during lock down?
Contemplate board room reshuffles and a clear out of the dead wood, it appears, as first Richemont and now Swatch Group have announced significant changes at the top.
Executives will have been gripping their mobile phones a little harder this week as they wait to know whether they have been released, promoted, reassigned or overlooked.
Swatch Group has made wholesale changes to the leadership team of its higher-volume brands from Certina and Hamilton up to Longines and Tissot.
Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega and member of the Extended Group Management Board (a board made up mostly of heads of brands), stays in position but is elevated to the Executive Group Management Board, presided over by Nick Hayek.
Matthias Breschan, currently head of Rado, will become CEO of Longines.
Longines’ long-standing CEO, 79-year-old Walter von Känel, is retiring but has been elected as honorary chairman of Longines and will remain chairman of the Longines Foundation. “The Group thanks him sincerely for his remarkable commitment to Longines for over half a century,” a statement from Swatch Group says.
Sylvain Dolla, who is currently in charge of Hamilton, will take over as CEO of the much larger Tissot operation and has also been added to the Extended Group Management Board. Vivian Stauffer, the brand’s head of sales, replaces Mr Dolla as CEO at Hamilton.
Tissot’s current president, François Thiébaud, has been appointed chairman of the Board of Directors of Tissot.
Adrian Bosshard, the current CEO of Certina and Union, is taking over as head of Rado.
At Certina, he will be succeeded by Marc Aellen, who has been VP sales of Jaquet Droz.
Franz Linder, in addition to his function as CEO of Mido, will also assume the management of Union.
All changes will take effect on July 1, 2020.