Business New: Louis Ferla Appointed CEO of Cartier

A new boss for the world's biggest jeweller.

Capping several months of rumours, Richemont has just announced the appointment of Louis Ferla as the chief executive of Cartier. Having been in charge of Vacheron Constantin since 2017 – during which its annual sales tripled to about €1 billion – Mr Ferla succeeds Cyrille Vigneron, who is retiring after eight years at the top of the jewel in Richemont’s crown.

This news comes just weeks after Nicolas Bos was named chief executive of Richemont, the Swiss luxury group that also owns brands like Van Cleef & Arpels and IWC. Mr Bos was the longtime chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels and will be replaced by Catherine Rénier, who’s been running Jaeger-LeCoultre since 2018.

Elevating VC

Officially assuming the coveted top job at Cartier on September 1, Mr Ferla has been with Richemont since 2001 when he joined Alfred Dunhill, before moving to Cartier in 2006 where he rose to International Director of Clients and Business.

His tenure at Vacheron Constantin saw the brand increase both its sales and margins as the brand trimmed its retail network to focus on in-house boutiques, while also boosting its offerings of high-end, one-off Les Cabinotiers timepieces. Vacheron Constantin has yet to announce Mr Ferla’s replacement, but his deputy, chief commercial officer Laurent Perves, will step up as the interim chief executive.

Mr Ferla’s name became the subject of conversations in the industry at end 2022, when it emerged he was one of the candidates to succeed Francois-Henry Bennahmias at Audemars Piguet. The top job at the Le Brassus brand went instead to industry outsider Ilaria Resta. In the wake of that news came speculation that Mr Ferla was incentivised to remain at Richemont, particularly since Mr Vigneron is nearing retirement age.

Cyrille Vigneron

Though he is stepping down as chief executive, Mr Vigneron is not leaving Cartier altogether. He becomes Chairman of Cartier Culture and Philanthropy, an arm of the jeweller dedicated to social and charitable endeavours, a role well suited to the cerebral and cultured Mr Vigneron.

Despite being Cartier’s “philosopher king”, Mr Vigneron’s stewardship of the brand propelled it to surpass €10 billion in annual revenue, making it one of the largest luxury brands in the world. Cartier’s scale has made it the profit engine of parent company Richemont, which also owns watch brands with narrower margins as well as loss making e-commerce business Yoox Net-a-Porter.

Addition July 2, 2024: Included the appointment of Catherine Rénier as chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels.

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