LVMH Watch Division and Tag Heuer to have a new CEO
Jean-Claude Biver is stepping down from his current role as CEO of LVMH’s watch division. Biver was appointed head of LVMH’s watch division in 2014 and includes 6 watch brands including Hublot, Tag Heuer, Zenith and Bulgari.
Replacing him is Mr. Stéphane Bianchi, who's previous experience was in fashion and women’s cosmetics at Yves Rocher. Mr Bianchi will be responsible for overall group direction, spending, strategy, and creative decisions. It also means that the CEOs of both Hublot and Zenith will continue to report to him as they did to Biver.
Although at 68 Biver says he isn't fully retiring just yet, this news marks the end of the professional career of one of the most innovative and dynamic watch industry managers today. He is one of the few who truly understand the product, the production process, the customer, the brand, the marketing needs, and the markets themselves.
He has said that he will remain as non-executive president of the watch division and of the three brands Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Zenith. His role as a non-executive chairman therefore means that he will be called upon for advice and direction but he will not lead projects.
The number of watch brands that Biver has headed is outstanding .He began as a salesperson for Audemars Piguet in 1975. In 1981, he and Jacques Piguet took over Blancpain and eleven years later bought the Swatch group for a reported $43 million. He remained its CEO until 2003, while also taking the reins of Swatch brand Omega.
After a year working with Franck Muller, in 2004, he then became head of Hublot—then one of the few independent watch brands and relaunched the brand with the release of the Big Bang line and development of a scratch-resistant gold. The brand was later bought by the LVMH group in 2008.
The news for some has been very sad as Mr Bivers shoes will be very difficult to fill. Stéphane Bianchi has strong management and consultancy skill and he will grow a viable business environment that can develop and launch the creative decisions of others within the business.