Axel Dumas (42) is the new CEO of French luxury group Hermès. Until the end of January 2014 he will work with current CEO Patrick Thomas, who will then retire. Dumas has to help ensure the independence of the company from ‘intruder’ LVMH.
Sixth generation shareholder
Dumas, already from the sixth generation of family shareholders of Hermès, has been working for the company since 2003. He has had a series of important positions: he had the lead over the jewellery branch and the leather department. In 2011 he was named director of operations.
Before Dumas started working at Hermès, he worked for BNP Paribas in China and the United States. He studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and corporate management at American Harvard. He also has a degree from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris.
‘Continue to protect our independence’
The new CEO was "honoured" by the offer he received from the company: “I know the support and vision of family shareholders are invaluable to continue the work of my predecessors, especially for protecting our independence”, he said.
That last part points to the manoeuvre of competitor LVMH, who silently built a participation of 22.6 percent in Hermès. The way this happened is currently being legally challenged, but “The participation is unwanted and undesirable”, Dumas stated.