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Now Official, CEO François-Henry Bennahmias Will Leave Audemars Piguet At The End Of 2023

The rumor is now official, and AP is now looking for its next CEO.

| By Xavier Markl | 1 min read |
Francois-Henry Bennahmias Audemars Piguet CEO

What was once just an unconfirmed rumour is now official. François-Henry Bennahmias, the charismatic CEO of Audemars Piguet, will leave the brand at the end of 2023. The news was announced in an interview together with Jasmine Audemars, released in Le Temps today.

François-Henry Bennahmias joined Audemars Piguet some 30 years ago and has been at the helm of the brand for the past 10 years. He will leave the company in excellent shape with revenues of about 1.6 billion francs and a production of some 45,000 watches in 2021. The interview released in Le Temps reports that the transition process has been under discussion since 2017 and that back then, François-Henry Bennahmias had informed the Audemars Piguet Board of his desire to retire after the 50-year anniversary of the Royal Oak in 2022. A date is now set. He will continue to exercise his functions as CEO, ensuring a smooth transition until the end of 2023.

The Audemars Piguet Board has therefore decided to launch a search process for a new CEO via the recruitment firm Russel Reynolds Associates.

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6 responses

  1. Thank god, I dont care that AP was very successful on those 10 years, creatively they were bankrupt and every attempt to break away from the Royal Oak were colossal failures. Very excited to see what comes next.

  2. I don’t think he’ll be missed. He might not have been as much of a disaster as Zenith’s Thierry Nataf was, but he simply didn’t understand AP. Mostly it was just jumping on the Genta hype train, with a slight intermission for an original design that didn’t reflect any of AP’s design cues at all. The AP dress watches first were bland, and now they’re mostly gone.

  3. My 2 cents: Bennahmias is indeed quite charismatic and very successful as a businessman. I thought about meeting him someday ever since becoming a watch collector some years ago. But the way how he conducted and hosted the live auction, along with comedian Kevin Hart, of the Black Panther unique piece last year was just awful. The vulgarity has nothing to do with the design of the watch itself or about Marvel but concerns the tone of the show which made some people consider being detrimental to the brand’s image. I noticed that Michael Friedman, Head of Complications, and some other representatives of AP have been stepping up more during PR sessions with the media for the past year. Any way, happy retirement to FHB.

  4. So the uniformed have spoken. If you really were a fan of the brand, then you would know that it’s Francois who made it what it is today. From when he started till now he has helped transform the brand into the powerhouse that it is. From the creativity, to the innovation and to the design it was he who took the brand to such great heights. He along with the board, and the amazing new USA mgmt team (led by Ginny Wright), have taken what the oldest watch company still owned by the founding family to the top of the mountain in not just watch making, but is social responsibility as well. From Jasmine Audemar’s work with the environment to Francois help with so many charities supporting children’s health and even afternoon care, it’s what so many of you don’t see that makes him the dynamic leader that he is. It’s the quality and character of the brand and not just the watch itself that makes it such a joy, pleasure, and honor to wear. As for innovation (or the lack thereof that you mentioned), you obviously haven’t seen the new references and movements that have been created and launched over the many years that Francois has been there. In short, Francois has been the pinnacle of what reinvigorating a brand would stand for and as he departs, will be the reason it’s in the position that it is to continue to be the company that doesn’t lose time!

  5. Great. So he did something for the company, something for the society…
    Now please give us somebody who will do something for the fans and watch lovers!

  6. If you don’t believe that doing something for mankind and for the brand as a whole is enough, then maybe you are missing the point about doing “something for the fans and watch lovers!” That is what you should want a true watch lover and someone who cares and out the brand should want. If not, your truly not a fan but rather a goal hanger who only want to play in front of the net for an easy assist or score. It takes a lot to build what he did and what the company has as a whole since 1875. If you can’t understand, embrace and live all of which has been created l, may I suggest you focus on just smart watches with the newest chip, it may even serve yo help you in other areas. What francois and AP have created is generations in the making done in just decades of time. Embrace it or move on to a great quarts model swatch!

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