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Friday, November 9, 2012

Richemont Names Joint CEOs to Replace Johann Rupert

Johann Rupert to step down as
executive chairman and CEO.
The Board of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA announced Friday that it has approved a number of senior management changes, culminating with a change at the top of the company’s management structure. The announcement came as the luxury goods conglomerate reported a 21 percent increase in sales and a 52 percent increase in profit for the first half of the fiscal year.

Bernard Fornas, currently Cartier CEO, and Richard Lepeu, currently Richemont deputy CEO, will become joint CEOs of Richemont on April 1, 2013, under a succession plan that begins to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

As previously announced, Stanislas de Quercize, currently CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, will succeed Fornas as CEO of Cartier on Jan. 1, 2013. On the same date, Fornas and Lepeu will be appointed as joint deputy CEOs, reporting to Johann Rupert, executive chairman and CEO.

Rupert returned to the role of Richemont CEO when Norbert Platt, who held the position, took early retirement due to ill health in 2010. Rupert will step down from that role on March 31, 2013.

The following day, Fornas and Lepeu will become joint CEOs. Fornas will oversee Richemont’s maisons while Lepeu will continue to oversee Richemont’s central functions. Fornas and Lepeu together with Gary Saage, CFO, will form a senior executive committee for Richemont.

In addition, the Board approved certain changes to Richemont’s Group Management Committee.

The following executives will join the Group Management Committee, effective immediately: Lutz Bethge, CEO of Montblanc; Hans-Peter Bichelmeier, Group Operations director; Stanislas de Quercize; Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen; Jérôme Lambert, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre; and Philippe Léopold-Metzger, CEO of Piaget.

The following executives will retain their responsibilities but, reflecting the changed role of the Group Management Committee, will resign from the committee by the end of the current financial year: Giampiero Bodino, Group art director; Alan Grieve, director of Corporate Affairs; Mr Eloy Michotte, corporate finance director; and Jan Rupert, executive director.

Richemont, based in Geneva, owns many of the world’s best-known luxury brands (called “maisons” by the company) including Cartier, Montblanc, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget. It also has wholesale businesses and owns the luxury retail website, A list of its businesses can be found by following this link.

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