Ulysse Nardin appoints Patrick Pruniaux as CEO
There is a change at the very top for Ulysse Nardin. The Swiss watch-maker, founded in Locle in 1846 and acquired in July 2014 by the Kering group, has appointed Patrick Pruniaux, 45, to take over as CEO from Patrik Hoffmann on 28th August.
The luxury group stated in a press release that Hoffmann wished "to follow a new personal course," without giving any further details. Patrik Hoffmann has led Ulysse Nardin for nearly 20 years, and notably supervised the integration of the Swiss watch manufacturer into François-Henri Pinault's group.
Though Hoffmann enabled Ulysse Nardin to survive the economic downturn in Russia, its main market, he nevertheless failed to relaunch the brand, renowned for its nautical chronometers and sophisticated mechanical engineering.
Kering now appears keen to take firm control of a label it paid a sizeable sum for, and which seems not to have yet delivered the results expected. Indeed, the professional profile of new CEO Patrick Pruniaux, who will report to Albert Bensoussan, the General Manager of the group's luxury, watches and jewellery division, is very different from his predecessor's.
Pruniaux is well acquainted with the watch-making industry, having worked between 2005 and 2014 for TAG Heuer (LVMH), where he reached the position of Vice-President Global Sales & Retail. Yet the French manager is also experienced the in high-tech world, more in synch with the new generation.
In 2014, he joined Apple as Senior Director Special Projects for the launch of the Apple Watch, and in 2015 he became Managing Director of Apple UK and Ireland.
Pruniax has an MBA from the HEC business school in Paris and also studied at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He started his career in 1997 with the Diageo group in the UK and the USA, before joining LVMH's wine and spirits division, based in Miami.
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