Frédéric Arnault’s Appointment Alerts Growing Importance of LVMH Watches
Frédéric Arnault has quickly moved through the ranks at LVMH with a succession strategy that prepares the future of the luxury conglomerate.
LVMH started the new year by annoucing a dynamic shake-up to their watches and jewellery division which involve a number of significant internal appointments. It appears as if 2024 is the year chairman, founder and CEO of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), Bernard Arnault is beginning to see his plans for succession take place. The 74-year-old luxury magnate is positioning his son to take the reins as the company announced a slew of new appointments across Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith. LUXUO discusses what this reshuffling spells for the future of LVMH.
Frédéric Arnault Appointed as CEO of LVMH Watches
Frédéric Arnault first joined TAG Heuer in 2017 where he was shortly promoted to chief strategy and digital officer the following year before ultimately becoming CEO in 2020. During his six-year tenure at TAG Heuer, Frédéric utilised his digital background — having worked at Facebook’s artificial intelligence research department — to oversee significant transformation within the brand. This was primarily done when the 29-year-old integrated his technological prowess and digital innovation to high-end watchmaking. Under his guidance, TAG Heuer merged luxury asthetics with advanced technology, introduced lab grown diamonds, reshaped legends like the Aquaracer and Carrera, and successfully engaged the company into a complete transformation plan around one objective — brand elevation and desirability.
Frédéric’s latest appointment as CEO of LVMH watches sees him take on a pivotal role in Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith where he will report to Stéphane Bianchi, CEO of LVMH’s watches and jewellery division. “Frédéric has done a tremendous job at TAG Heuer over the past six years. His unique and disruptive vision for the watchmaking industry led to a spectacular transformation for TAG Heuer, which recovered its credentials in record time as the luxury watch brand driven by high performance,” stated Bianchi. Frédéric Arnault has quickly risen up the ranks at LVMH and his departure from TAG Heuer was only a natural elevation in his career trajectory. Frédéric has both national roots and a familial skin in the game (being French and an Arnault) and having an Arnault in an overall position of strategic responsibility lends some weight to the watchmaking business of LVMH.
Julien Tornare Appointed as CEO of TAG Heuer
As it goes, quite the opposite is the case for Julien Tornare when compared to Frédéric. Julien is a Geneva native who spent years overlooking Vacheron Constantin in Asia eventually getting tapped to rebrand Zenith. His appointment at TAG Heuer is almost the equivalent to a “mission accomplished” seal of approval to his time at Zenith, and a strong mandate for him to steer the grand watchmaking ship that is TAG Heuer.
Having held the helm at Zenith as CEO since 2017, Julien spoke to LUXUO in 2020 in an exclusive interview stating “We have to feed the industry, to move things forward. The new generation wants to buy watches from dynamic companies. I strongly believe that the millennials, as they are known, don’t want the same watches as their parents – if they do then they will buy vintage but that’s a different story,” perhaps foreshadowing the shift that would lay ahead.
Benoit de Clerck Succeeds Julien Tornare as CEO of Zenith
Julien’s sucessor — Benoit de Clerck comes with 25 years of experience in the luxury watchmaking industry and understands international business development and dynamic sales strategies which has seen him expand market reach and increase profitability during his time as COO at Panerai, which is owned by Richemont. Benoit has built a reputation on handling international sales negotiations, pioneering retail solutions and a vast understanding of market dynamics.
Julien Tornare, Benoit de Clerck and Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, will now report to Frédéric Arnault. So how does Julien Tornare and Benoit de Clerck play a role in positioning Frédéric Arnault rise and the future of LVMH? Well, simply put Julien Tornare understands watchmaking and has bulit a career on it. Clerck on the other hand is a master of business strategy. The combination of the two alongside Frédéric Arnault’s technical insight and forward-thinking vision is but the first step in cementing LVMH’s future as a luxury powerhouse.
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