In the past months, there have been some massive shakeups at Richemont (Compagnie Financière Richemont SA), which abolished the role of CEO, and appointed IWC’s Georges Kern as Head of Watchmaking and Montblanc’s Jérôme Lambert as Head of Operations. A few weeks later came the “Big Reshuffle”, with 4 CEOs (Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget and Dunhill) leaving – voluntarily or not. Earlier today, 14 July 2017, Richemont announced the resignation of one of its key elements, Georges Kern, the recently appointed Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital and ex-CEO of IWC.
It seems that the sky is still grey over the Richemont Group. After massive shakeups in January, which lead to the creation of new positions for both Jérôme Lambert (ex-CEO of Montblanc) and Georges Kern (Ex-CEO of IWC), followed by an important reshuffle, as 4 of the previous CEOs had to leave the group, we now have more bad news coming from the Compagnie Financière Richemont SA. The group was already not in the best of shape, with 2016/2017 Revenues and Results going down, and new Board Members having been appointed. Now it’s no less than the Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital, a top leader on the operational side, who’s leaving the group, only 4 months after starting his new position.
In an official press release (14 July 2017), Richemont “regrets to announce the resignation with immediate effect of Mr Georges Kern. Mr Kern was Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital. He has stepped down from the Senior Executive Committee and the Group Management Committee and will no longer be standing for election to the Board of Directors of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA at the forthcoming annual general meeting of shareholders.”
Johann Rupert, Chairman, said: “Georges has been offered an interesting opportunity to become an entrepreneur. He has had a very successful career at IWC Schaffhausen and we wish him well.”
As of now, no replacement or interim has been announced and Richemont’s watchmaking, marketing and digital activities will report to the Senior Executive Committee. The question is: will this leave the door open for Jérôme Lambert to become the leader of all operational activities at Richemont…?
The official press release can be read here – “Richemont announces resignation of Georges Kern, Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital“