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Cartier and Yoox Net-a-Porter owner Richemont appoints new CEO

Luxury fashion and jewellery group Richemont has filled its vacant CEO position by appointing COO Jérôme Lambert to the role with immediate effect.

Lambert has had an extensive career at Richemont, having led Jaeger-LeCoultre and Montblanc, as well as overseeing the group’s specialist watchmakers and the group’s fashion and accessories businesses before becoming COO last year.

He becomes the first CEO at Cartier owner Richemont for 18 months, after the company opted not to directly replace Richard Lepeu when he retired from the role in March 2017. But with the recent acquisition of digital business such as Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) and Watchfinder.co.uk, the group has opted to change its leadership strategy to serve a new type of consumer.

Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, said: “Jérôme’s new role sees him taking responsibility for the group’s future growth at a time when consumer habits are changing significantly.

“As we position the group to meet these challenges, he will lead the development of strategic plans reflecting the long-term objectives and priorities established by the board.”

Described by Rupert as a “first amongst equals”, the new CEO will work in partnership with his fellow senior executives on the board: Cyrille Vigneron, CEO of Cartier; Burkhart Grund, group CFO; and Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels.

The aim, according to Rupert, is to develop a coherent approach to achieving the group’s common goals while respecting the individuality of its separate business segments, known as “Maisons”.

Richemont’s specialist watchmakers, online distributors and other businesses, such as YNAP, as well as central and regional functions, will report directly to Lambert.

Group human resources director Sophie Guieysse and YNAP CEO Federico Marchetti are among the senior team members who will continue to work closely with Lambert, as will Emmanuel Perrin and Eric Vallat, who oversee the group’s specialist watchmaker and fashion & accessories departments respectively.

Alongside today’s personnel appointment, Richemont said sales for the five months ended 31 August 2018 – excluding YNAP and Watchfinder.co.uk, which have only been consolidated in the group’s accounts since 1 May and 1 June respectively – increased by 10% at constant exchange rates and by 7% at actual exchange rates.

Including the new additions, sales reportedly grew by 25% at constant exchange rates and by 22% at actual exchange rates.

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