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Richemont names new group CEO

Swiss luxury goods maker Compagnie Financière Richemont SA said Sept. 10 that it appointed COO Jérôme Lambert to become CEO of the group, effective immediately.

Lambert was the first to assume the COO role when it was created in late 2017, as part of his extensive career with the company that has included leading the Jaeger-LeCoultre and Montblanc brands.

In his new group CEO role, Lambert will oversee Richemont's specialist watchmakers, online distributors and other businesses, as well as central and regional functions.

This move is a turnaround from an earlier decision to scrap the post of companywide CEO entirely. In November 2016, the Geneva-based company announced it would make the change in response to then-group CEO Richard Lepeu's plans to retire in March 2017. The heads of Richemont's individual brands, or maisons, were assigned to report directly to the board instead.

Richemont Chairman Johann Rupert said in a Sept. 10 statement: "Jérôme's new role sees him taking responsibility for the group's future growth at a time when consumer habits are changing significantly. As we position the group to meet these challenges, he will lead the development of strategic plans reflecting the long-term objectives and priorities established by the board."

Rupert added that Lambert would work in partnership with Cartier CEO Cyrille Vigneron, Van Cleef & Arpels CEO Nicolas Bos and CFO Burkhart Grund "to ensure a coherent approach to achieving our common goals while respecting the individuality of our maisons."