Industry News: Ulysse Nardin Appoints Ex-Apple and TAG Heuer Exec as CEO

Patrick Pruniaux tapped to turn around the watchmaker.

Most recently the Country Manager for Apple in the UK and Ireland, Patrick Pruniaux has been named the new chief executive of Ulysse Nardin, the high-end watch brand owned by Kering, the luxury conglomerate that also owns Gucci and Bottega Veneta.

Kering acquired Ulysse Nardin in 2014 but left most of the brand’s management in place and tapped to a longtime executive to lead the company. Industry insiders say Ulysse Nardin’s performance since the takeover has been modest, which suggests the patience of Kering boss Francois-Henri Pinault has run out.

Though he was most recently with Apple, Pruniaux is by no means a watch industry outsider. Pruniaux spent almost nine years at TAG Heuer, becoming head of sales and retail in 2010, before leaving for Apple in 2014 for the launch of Apple Watch.

Pruniaux takes over from Patrik Hoffmann at Ulysse Nardin at end August 2017. Hoffmann joined Ulysse Nardin in 1999, becoming one of the key lieutenants to the late Rolf Schnyder, an entrepreneur who turned Ulysse Nardin into a respected player thanks to imagination and sheer personality. It was Schnyder’s family that sold the company to Kering, for a sum reputed to be over SFr800m.

It’s worth pointing out at Ulysse Nardin’s line-up of products for 2017 was both critically and commercially well received, being mostly sensibly styled and priced. So it might not be a surprise if Pruniaux hews to the same formula.

Source: Kering

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