Stéphane Bianchi at the head of LVMH’s Watches and Jewelry activities – WWD


Bringing together almost all luxury activities under a single manager, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has appointed Stéphane Bianchi chairman of its watches and jewelry division, and member of the LVMH executive committee.

The executive, who has quickly risen through the ranks since joining the group in 2018, saw its scope extend last year from its watch division to the jewelry houses Fred and Chaumet.

He is now adding Bulgari to his tenure. Jean-Christophe Babin retains his role as CEO of Bulgari and now reports to Bianchi. Previously, Babin reported to Toni Belloni, CEO of the LVMH group.

Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH, praised Bianchi’s “great passion for these categories and his genuine dedication to product quality and innovative ideas”.

“He has also proven his ability to attract and coach strong talents, key to the future of our group. I have no doubts that he will do a great job of taking our watch and jewelry houses to the next level, ”he added in an internal ad seen by WWD.

Bianchi was CEO of the Yves Rocher group, which includes the Petit Bateau brand, from 1998 to 2015.

At LVMH, he initially focused on the watchmaking houses Tag Heuer, Hublot and Zenith, “building the commercial fundamentals and organization of these brands, and developing its expertise in hard luxury,” said LVMH in l announcement, also praising its surveillance of Fred and Chaumet, ensuring a “strong rebound from the difficulties of the pandemic”.

Bulgari’s arrival “rounds off its responsibilities” and streamlines the group’s organization.

Tiffany & Co., recently integrated into the group, will continue to be managed outside of the watches and jewelry division.

“Each house will continue to be managed individually to perpetuate its differentiation,” noted LVMH. Among the prominent brand leaders is Frédéric Arnault, CEO of Tag Heuer.

“We will frame their objective with a total strategy of ‘hard luxury’ and improve the sharing of knowledge and resources for faster progress,” added LVMH.

Belloni said Bulgari has “made great strides over the years” and credited Babin, its CEO since 2013, for his “excellent” results. “He refocused the house on his core ‘trades’ and his unique Italian heritage with high energy and vibrant ideas. With Stéphane, they will form a great team and will continue to enhance the attractiveness of the house.

The integration of Tiffany more than doubled the size of LVMH’s watchmaking and jewelry business, which achieved sales of 6.16 billion euros in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 2.26 billion euros. euros over the same period in 2020.

Excluding Tiffany, sales of watches and jewelry in the third quarter increased by 1% in comparable terms compared to 2019, after an increase of 9% in the second quarter, the group blaming the volatility in Asia, which particularly impacted jewelry.

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