Richemont broke the news that its Chief Technology Officer, Dr Jean-Jacques Van Oosten, is leaving with immediate effect, for “personal reasons” according to the announcement. A specialist in omni-channel retail strategy, he joined the Swiss luxury group only in January 2018, after a career that included a stint at British supermarket chain Tesco.
Mr Van Oosten’s departure comes on the back of Richemont’s bid to acquire all of Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP), an online fashion retailer in which it owns a half share. The YNAP offer was announced the same month as Mr Van Oosten came on board, and according to a source quoted in the Financial Times, Mr Van Oosten’s change of career is likely related to the takeover.
Of all the major watch groups, Richemont is the furthest along in selling fine watches online, with several of its brands, including IWC and Cartier, already offering selected products on the internet. The group appointed several tech industry personalities to its board last year, including the former second in command at Softbank, Nikesh Arora.
YNAP will figure significantly in Richemont’s watch retail strategy, which will likely be led by Emmanuel Perrin, who is current head of distribution for watches, but whom insiders say is effectively running the watch division, replacing Georges Kern who left for Breitling last year.
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