Jérôme Lambert is Richemont’s New Group CEOWritten by Melissa Kong
Another chapter begins.
These are certainly interesting times to be in the watch industry. Just when the whole Baselworld controversy had quietened down after the resignation of MCH Group CEO Rene Kamm, we get news that Richemont’s Group COO, Jérôme Lambert, has been appointed Group CEO.
Why is this surprising? Well, just two years ago, Richemont chairman, Johann Rupert, abolished the CEO position so individual brand CEOs would report directly to the board. Then-CEO of IWC Georges Kern vacated his post to become the conglomerate’s head of watchmaking, marketing and digital, while then-CEO of Montblanc Jerome Lambert became head of operations.
With Georges Kern now at Breitling, there were whispers of Lambert taking over but no one quite expected the top job to be reinstated. Yet, Rupert seems to insist on a non-hierarchical leadership (as far as possible, anyway) with Lambert as “first amongst equals, (working) in partnership with his fellow senior executives on the Board.”
It’s an interesting development, and one that comes on the heels of some good news for Richemont. The company reported a profit of €1,221 million for the financial year ending 31 March 2018, with a 2% increase in sales from their specialist watchmakers department for the last year. Looks like their gamble in the 2016 reshuffle paid off. Our heartiest congratulations to Lambert as he steps into his new role.
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".