Watches of Switzerland makes key management moves, adds to board
Important executive changes at Watches of Switzerland have been unveiled with the high-flying luxury retailer appointing two new presidents. And its board has also been bolstered with the addition of a new big-name non-exec director.
But first those new presidents. Craig Bolton, currently executive director, UK, becomes president for the UK and Europe while David Hurley, currently the executive VP, US, has been promoted to president for North America. In addition, Hurley has also been appointed deputy CEO of the group, “reflecting the importance of the US market to the growth plans of the group”, it said on Monday.
Chairman Ian Carter added: “Our management structure continues to develop in response to and in anticipation of our business development. I look forward to working with them as we continue to execute our Long Range Plan.”
Analysts at Jefferies suggested it’s possibly linked to succession planning.
“CEO Brian Duffy is an important asset in the WOSG story, a strong communicator and executor, and well valued by investors”, they said. “Although there are no suggestions that Duffy may imminently leave, we think a succession plan is appreciated in this case. Hurley has been effective at establishing the WOSG brand in the US and has also driven a confident acquisition strategy and we expect him to continue to build a more prominent external facing role. In addition, we think the role of 'North America' may imply entry into Canada at some point”.
Meanwhile, Chabi Nouri has been appointed as an independent non-executive director and a member of the company's ESG Committee, effective 1 May.
Nouri joins with over 20 years' experience in leading luxury goods companies. Previously, she was president and chief executive of Swiss luxury watch and jeweller, Piaget, and has held various senior roles in the luxury sector spanning management, retail operations and marketing, including global head of Jewellery, and head of retail operations at Cartier.
After seven years with Piaget, Chabi took on a strategic advisory role with the Richemont Group, reporting to its CEO and is currently a private equity partner of Mirabaud and co-fund manager of the Mirabaud Lifestyle franchise.
Duffy said: “Chabi has outstanding luxury retail experience, particularly in the watch and jewellery sector, and we are delighted to welcome someone of her pedigree and expertise to the Board. I am certain we will benefit greatly from her knowledge and perspective.”
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