Amidst all the excitement caused by SIHH as well as the new pieces revealed yesterday from Hublot for the Geneva Watch Fair, Hublot Chairman Jean-Claude Biver, the master watch marketing strategist, has snuck in a bit of exciting news of his own which has certainly surprised the industry.
He announced on Monday that he is to head up the watch division of LVMH, the French luxury brands giant. In addition to Hublot, Biver will now be responsible for watch brands TAG Heuer and Zenith, and with his entrepreneurial flair it’s likely he will be adding more illustrious names to the group. LVMH is keen to close the gap with bigger watch and jewellery companies such as Richemont and Swatch, as well as to gain more exposure to emerging markets. So at an age when most people are considering a quiet, stress free exit, starting March 1, 65 year old Jean-Claude Biver will take up the reins of this ambitious group’s watchmaking division.
The LVMH post has become available since Francesco Trapani, the former president of Bulgari, stepped down as head of LVMH’s watches and jewellery division as announced on January 20. Trapani will now become an advisor to LVMH Group Chairman Bernard Arnault and will retain his seat on the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy board.
Commenting on the appointment of M. Biver LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault stated “his entrepreneurial talent and creativity will add significant momentum to [LVMH’s] other brands in the sector.”