LVMH Group, the world leader in luxury, has just announced that Stéphane Bianchi will assume the role of CEO of the LVMH Watch and Jewelry Division with a scope enlarged to encompass jewellery brands Chaumet and FRED, in addition to TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot. Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari, will continue to report to Toni Belloni, LVMH Group Managing Director. Along with this new position, the group has also announced the appointment of Frédéric Arnault as CEO of TAG Heuer.
Frédéric Arnault, 25 years old, is the fourth child of Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive of luxury giant LVMH. A graduate of the prestigious École Polytechnique in Paris, he has joined TAG Heuer late 2017. He had been the brand’s Strategy and Digital Director since September 2018, leading, in particular, the launch of the TAG Heuer third-generation Connected Watch – you can read our interview with him here. He will now be alone at the helm of the company as of 1 July.
With 160 years of watchmaking history, TAG Heuer is one of the largest watch brands by sales in the LVMH portfolio and one of the top 10 largest Swiss watch brands. The young Frédéric Arnault will have to lead the recovery from COVID-19. Indeed, the pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the luxury watch industry. A direct result of the standstill in production, distribution and sales, Swiss watch exports fell by no less than 81% in April 2020.
In the press release sent by LVMH, Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, said: ‘Since his arrival at LVMH, Stéphane has given the Watchmaking Division a new lease of life, strengthening the fundamental principle of each of the brands and exploring promising new avenues. I am certain that he will continue this great work and that he will apply all of his talents and his determination to the development of the Maisons Chaumet and FRED. Frédéric’s appointment comes as an affirmation of his achievements at TAG Heuer, where he succeeded in combining innovation, heritage and savoir-faire within this historic brand. These two appointments demonstrate our full confidence in the growth potential of these brands. I wish them both every success going forward.’