Two of the four Richemont Group brands that will see their CEOs step down have announced replacements for them. It was previously reported that Andrew Maag will become the CEO of bespoke menswear company. Two watchmakers, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget have revealed who will be stepping up.
Louis Ferla will become CEO of Vacheron Constantin effective April 1, when Juan-Carlos Torres steps down and becomes non-executive president. Ferla has previously worked for other brands under the Richemont banner. He was a sales manager for Alfred Dunhill in Hong Kong. He also worked for Cartier in Asia, specifically in Japan, Taiwan, China, and the Middle East. Prior to his promotion, he was the managing director of sales and marketing for Vacheron Constantin. He quickly released a statement.
“This transition side by side with Juan-Carlos Torres will enable us to perpetuate the spirit of excellence that drives our Manufacture.”
Outgoing CEO Juan-Carlos Torres also spoke about Ferla.
“Louis will be actively upholding and promoting the values of our Maison, that we have been defending for almost three centuries.”
Meanwhile Piaget makes history by appointing Swiss woman Chabi Nouri as CEO for one of the Richemont Group’s various watch and jewelry brands. She is one of a small handful of women CEOs within the whole group. The first female CEO in the group was Marianne Romestain, who was promoted to CEO of Lancel in 2014. Another notable female CEO was Isabelle Guichot, who was CEO of luxury watchmaker Van Cleef & Arpels from 1999 to 2005. These women are of course a minority in a typically male-dominated business, especially in the watch world, which is often seen as a man’s hobby.
In an investors meeting, Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert said the group needed more diversity.
“I want to see less grey men, less grey Frenchmen, as a subcategory. We have too few women. We don’t have enough diversity.”
Nouri’s background involves working in Cartier as an international retail area manager for Europe and America. Piaget released a biography about Nouri, where they detailed her experiences.
A senior marketing expert with extensive knowledge of the luxury goods category, Chabi Nouri joined the Piaget team in September 2014 as Director of Marketing, Communications and Heritage. Having spent a significant part of her career in the Richemont family at Cartier, she adds a unique perspective to the Piaget brand, with a focus on deploying communications strategies around the Maison’s jewellery expertise and the 140-year heritage that defines Piaget. A Swiss-native, Chabi Nouri completed her Masters in Economics at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, before joining Cartier in 1998 as Watches Product Manager where she was responsible for the watch category development in the Swiss market. Following her move to Cartier International, she first assumed the role of Merchandising Group Manager, before becoming International Retail Area Manager, leading global retail efforts in established and emerging markets.
The brand also released a statement regarding the promotion.
“[Nouri’s] mission at Piaget is to modernize and rejuvenate the new positioning and ambition of the brand, while capitalizing on its history and unique heritage; as well as leveraging its development strategy across the world and launch a new managerial dynamic.”
These changes are part of a much expected overhaul that was set in motion last year. There were already plans as early as November of last year to shake things up within the managerial hierarchy with the group. It is still unclear whether any more changes to the management of any other brands is to be expected, but clearly the Richemont Group is expecting big things from these big changes.
[Featured Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]