LVMH shuffles executive suite for a 'new era'
After 20 years leading Christian Dior Couture, Sidney Toledano will become chairman and CEO of the Fashion Group, LVMH announced Wednesday. The chief executives at each of the group’s labels will report to Toledano, who also becomes a member of the LVMH Executive Committee.
Toledano replaces Pierre-Yves Roussel, who has led the Fashion Group for a decade and will move on to become special advisor to LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. Roussel has been a member of the LVMH Executive Committee for 14 years, but will take up new operational responsibilities within it, the company said.
Pietro Beccari, who has led Fendi since 2012, will step into Toledano's former role at Christian Dior Couture and join the LVMH Executive Committee. The new CEO of Fendi will be announced in the near future, and these new appointments will take effect at the start of 2018.
While this is a remarkable executive shuffle, it squares with the way LVMH has spent the last year or so, starting with its sale last year of the Donna Karan brand — only the second sale it has made in 30 years. The brand was the first major American designer label for the company (one of LVMH's biggest moves into the ready-to-wear industry), and unloading it indicated that LVMH seemed determined to focus on luxury experiences.
Earlier this year, the conglomerate announced a new lifestyle and experiential e-commerce platform, dubbed Clos19, for its Moët Hennessy wine and spirits brands. The company also took full control of Christian Dior, unveiled a new e-commerce site (24Sevres.com) for its Parisian luxury department store Le Bon Marche, and last month solidified plans for a U.S.-based manufacturing plant first announced this summer.
In his statement Tuesday, Arnault said, for Christian Dior Couture in particular, the shakeup signals "a new era."
"Having been an integral member of our Group for 12 years, Pietro has an excellent track record," he said. "After several years as marketing director of Louis Vuitton, he oversaw strong growth at Fendi by expertly harnessing the creativity of Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi and closely aligning it to the Roman influence of the House. He will be an excellent leader who will steer Dior towards ever greater success in the future."
The Business of Fashion called Beccari "a natural choice for Dior" because he knows the brand from the inside and, like Dior's women's artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri, is Italian. Common language and any further rapport will be important, the magazine said, because Chiuri is under fire from the trade, although her designs have fared well.
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