A Tiffany & Co. retailer in Zurich | Supply: Shutterstock
LVMH has accomplished its $15.8 billion acquisition of Tiffany — and is losing no time shaking up the chief ranks of the New York-based jeweller.
Louis Vuitton vice chairman of worldwide industrial actions Anthony Ledru has been named Tiffany’s new chief govt, replacing Alessandro Bogliolo, who will depart later in January. The transfer is only one a part of a wider reorganisation. Rimowa head Alexandre Arnault is now govt vice chairman of product and communications, whereas Louis Vuitton world chief govt Michael Burke will chair Tiffany board of administrators.
Ledru is a rising star at LVMH, taking part in a pivotal position at Louis Vuitton since arriving on the leather-based items model in 2015 as chief govt of its North American operations, solely to be promoted to steer world commerce two years later.
However it’s his vital expertise in “laborious” luxurious, significantly within the US market, that made Ledru the highest candidate. Not solely did he lead world gross sales at Harry Winston, adopted by two years as vice chairman of the North American market at Tiffany earlier than heading to Louis Vuitton, however he additionally spent a lot of his early profession climbing the ranks at Cartier, the place he managed the Richemont-owned manufacturers’ US retail network.
The expertise at Tiffany is necessary: he is aware of how the enterprise is run, and understands its US operations, which nonetheless make up a big portion of its gross sales. However Cartier is the enterprise that Louis Vuitton needs most to beat. Its model positioning and stability is unmatched by any competitor. If Cartier is the Chanel of high-quality jewelry, then LVMH is hoping Tiffany may change into the Dior.
Tiffany has a possibility to realize some traction. Not solely is its enterprise booming in China, but it surely’s under-penetrated in Europe, the place Cartier units the usual.
However whereas the jeweller has a powerful model that’s recognised globally, it’s in need of modernisation. That is particularly essential if it’s going to resonate with the following technology of luxurious prospects.
Alexandre Arnault, a son of LVMH chief govt Bernard Arnault, has had notable success refreshing German baggage items model Rimowa, which the group acquired in 2016 for €640 million ($774 million). He efficiently turned the elite, if once-rigid, label into one of the crucial trendy luxurious standing symbols available on the market by specializing in high quality, distribution and hype. Collaborations — together with these with Off-White and Supreme — have landed the model press mentions worthy of a serious sneaker drop.
At Tiffany, Arnault might select to broaden the jeweller’s already-famous designer-partnership portfolio. Prior to now, most of those team-ups — with the likes of Elsa Perretti and Paloma Picasso — have been long-term ventures. There may be room to attempt new codecs. As Arnault arrives, chief creative director Reed Krakoff and chief model officer Daniella Vitale are each stepping down from their roles.
On becoming a member of Tiffany, Arnault can be relinquishing his chief govt position to Hugues Bonnet-Masimbert, however will stay non-executive chairman of the bags label.
Each Ledru and Arnault’s capacity to faucet into LVMH assets — its retail actual property community and branding and advertising capabilities particularly — may assist elevate Tiffany to a brand new aggressive stage. That, mixed with Ledru’s understanding of the US luxurious market, which has skilled a renaissance through the pandemic, places them at a singular benefit.
Nevertheless, the brand new Tiffany management group is strikingly much like the previous regime, in addition to most c-suite executives within the vogue enterprise, in a method: it’s made up of white males. Lately, many corporations have employed chief variety officers to assist recruit extra ladies and other people of color into senior management roles, however the majority of firm boards and govt groups are not as diverse as some enterprise consultants would argue that they have to be.
For instance, a 2015 McKinsey & Co. research of 366 public corporations discovered that these with extra numerous management when it comes to gender had been 15 % extra more likely to have monetary returns that exceeded the business median. Those who had been extra numerous when it comes to race had been 35 % extra more likely to have increased returns. With the intention to efficiently handle the wants of a brand new technology of customers, Tiffany may have to judge whether or not there’s correct illustration inside its personal ranks.
Editor’s Observe: This story was up to date to incorporate further evaluation relating to variety on Tiffany’s govt group.
Disclosure: LVMH is a part of a gaggle of traders who, collectively, maintain a minority curiosity in The Business of Fashion. All traders have signed shareholders’ documentation guaranteeing BoF’s full editorial independence.