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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kering Strengthens its Focus On Luxury Jewelry and Watches

Tilda Swinton wearing colorful Pomellato rings. The Italian jeweler is owned by Kering.

French multinational holding company Kering (previously known as PPR) continues its transformation (at least three years in the making) into a luxury and lifestyle conglomerate with the recent announcement that it has reorganized most of its luxury brands into two divisions and appointed executives to lead those groups.

Albert Bensoussan, 55, a former LVMH executive, was named CEO of the “Luxury – Watches and Jewelry” division, which will house the brands Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Pomellato, Dodo and Qeelin.

The last three brands (Italian jewelers Pomellato and Dodo; and Hong Kong based jeweler Qeelin) were purchased by Kering within the past two years and is evidence of its pursuit of luxury jewelry companies.

Meanwhile, Marco Bizzarri, 51, a Kering employee who most recently served as president and CEO of Bottega Veneta, was named CEO of the “Luxury – Couture & Leather Goods” division, which will be made up of Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, McQ, Stella McCartney, Tomas Maier and Sergio Rossi.

Bizzarri remains president of Bottega Veneta until a new CEO is appointed.

Gucci will remain under the responsibility of Patrizio di Marco, chairman and CEO, who will remain under Pinault’s supervision.

Both appointments take effect in May. They will both report to François-Henri Pinault, Kering chairman and CEO.

“The new structure reflects the specific character of the businesses of the Group’s different brands, and will provide better responses to their particular needs, adapted to each brand’s stage of development,” Pinault said in the April 24 announcement. “The introduction of this structure is a logical stage in the formation of a more integrated group, to further accelerate the development of our brands while respecting the autonomy and individual identity of each of them.”

Bensoussan, Bizzarri and di Marco are all members of Kering’s executive committee.

Along with the new appointments there will be resignation. Alexis Babeau, managing director of Kering’s luxury division since 2011, said he had successfully fulfilled his mission and wanted to take his career in a new direction. Pinault credited him for the development of luxury brands first at Gucci Group and then at Kering.

“Alexis played a key role in identifying and implementing operational synergies between our brands, while maintaining the creative independence that makes each of them unique,” Pinault said.

In addition, Pinault said he will remain the chairman of the board at Saint Laurent. “Saint Laurent is at a pivotal moment in its history and reform as undisputed reference for Parisian elegance,” Pinault said. “Retaining its chairmanship ensures the preservation of the unique individuality and positioning of this historical French Couture House.”

Kering also has a “Sport & Lifestyle” division with the brands Puma, Volcom, Cobra, Electric and Tretorn.

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