Swiss luxury goods producer Richemont has appointed Jérôme Lambert as its CEO, not even two years after the position was abolished to give each brand its own boss.
COO rises to CEO
Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont's board of directors, had said at the end of 2016 it was unfair for a single CEO to be responsible for the whole group, including the luxury brands Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc. At the time the board of directors thought the company was too big for a single top executive: instead, the heads of the various branches all reported directly to the board of directors.
The Swiss listed company has now changed its mind and says a "coherent approach" appears necessary after all to "achieve common objectives". Current operational director Jérôme Lambert will become CEO with immediate effect.
Spectacular turnover increase
Lambert has been with Richemont for over twenty years and now will position himself "first among equals" alongside the heads of the brands, with whom he will work in partnership while "respecting the individuality of each brand". "Jérôme’s new role sees him taking responsibility for the Group’s future growth at a time when consumer habits are changing significantly,” Rupert recedes.
The stock market is already responding positively to the news, helped by the news that Richemont has achieved a 25 % turnover growth in the past five months. The retail channel performed 11 % better and the European market accounted for a 28 % increase in turnover. Only America (North and South) performed better with an exchange rate free growth of 42 %.