News: Jean-Claude Biver takes charge of LVMH watchmaking, to oversee Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith

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LVMH has appointed Jean-Claude Biver to oversee its watch division, comprising Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith. This happens as the group’s watch and jewellery division is under-performing, in a general slowdown in the watch business.

Jean-Claude Biver

Jean-Claude Biver, the turnaround artist who successfully revived Blancpain, Omeg and Hublot, will soon take charge of all the three watch brands belonging to LVMH, namely Hublot, TAG Heuer and Zenith. This comes about at a time of slowing watch and jewellery sales at LVMH, with the division posting the slowest growth in the group. Francesco Trapani, formerly the CEO of Bulgari who joined LVMH when it acquired the jeweller, will give up operational duties at the group in March, though he remains on the board. Trapani’s role of head of Watches and Jewelry division will be split, with Antonio Belloni overseeing jewellery and watches coming under the aegis of Jean-Claude Biver.  Bernard Arnault, the Chairman of LVMH, commented, “I am also delighted that Jean- Claude Biver has agreed to lead our watchmaking activities. His experience and achievement within this sector speak for themselves, best illustrated by the remarkable success of Hublot. I am convinced that his entrepreneurial talent and creativity will add significant momentum to our other brands in the sector.” This is not the first time Biver has been tapped by a luxury conglomerate for his entrepreneurial talents. When the Swatch Group acquired Blancpain in 1992, Biver joined the its board, where he applied his skills to various brands, but most notably Omega, which he helped turn into the mass marketing powerhouse it is today. He stayed for nearly a dozen years, before joining Hublot, reviving its fortunes and then selling it to LVMH.

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