Luxury brand maker Richemont, announced a startling overhaul of its management as it sees eight directors stepping down to make way for new management. This drastic overhaul comes as the company saw a staggering 43 percent drop in the first-half profit due to sluggish Asia demand, volatile currencies and weakening tourism in Europe that is afflicting luxury brands globally at the moment. Few luxury brands have been spared by slowing economic growth in Asia, where the bulk of their clientele is based or an anti-corruption crackdown in China that targeted gift-giving as well as the recent spate of terror attacks that have deterred many tourists from travelling to the key French luxury market. The re-shuffle of management will see Johann Rupert remaining as executive chairman and deputy CFO Burkhart Grund replaces Gary Saage.
Georges Kern, who leads the IWC brand, will head watchmaking, marketing and digital.
Montblanc CEO Jerome Lambert will head operations.
Rupert who will retain the role of executive chairman stated that Richemont intends to reduce production of watches and is considering a hiring freeze alongside closing boutiques in less important locations in China with the hope that under the new management structure, the heads of individual brands will report directly to the board allowing for a quicker reaction time to tackle challenges facing the business.