Richemont Names Van Cleef’s Nicolas Bos New Group CEO


Richemont promoted Nicolas Bos, the chief executive of its fast-growing Van Cleef & Arpels unit, to the role of group CEO in a management shakeup announced Friday. Current CEO Jerome Lambert will return to a chief operating role from June 1, the Swiss luxury group said.

The nomination comes as Richemont reported mixed results for early 2024, with revenues rising 2 percent excluding currency shifts but down slightly on a reported basis. Sales slowed dramatically in Asia (excluding Japan), falling 12 percent compared to analyst forecasts for a 1 percent drop. But other regions outperformed expectations, including a 12 percent jump in the Americas, where a slowdown among aspirational clients in the US has dogged luxury firms since 2023. Rebounding tourism and a weaker yen pushed sales in Japan up 41 percent.

Operating profit for the full fiscal year dipped 5 percent to €4.8 billion ($5.2 billion).

Bos, who has been with Richemont since 1992, has seen his star rise within the group as Van Cleef & Arpels grew into a key pillar of the group’s business, including a period of rapid expansion during the pandemic. The brand has sought to diversify its offer — growing the textured Perlée line alongside its best-selling Alhambra clovers — as well as increasing awareness of the brand’s craftsmanship through high jewellery and watchmaking exhibitions, and sponsoring a training school for jewellers.

Key functions including finance had continued to report to chairman Johann Rupert during Lambert’s tenure as CEO as the group navigated a glut in watch inventories followed by the coronavirus crisis. All of the group’s brands and functions will report into Bos (directly or indirectly) under the new structure, Richemont said.Rupert credited Bos with turning Van Cleef into a “powerhouse” but denied that he was relinquishing oversight of the company under its new structure. “I’m not stepping back, it’s just that some of my reporting lines have been redirected to Nicolas,” Rupert said.

A process underway to sell e-commerce unit YNAP (Yoox Net-a-Porter) continues to progress in the wake of a cancelled deal with Farfetch, Richemont said, with the group pledging to announce a more definitive outcome by year-end. Losses of €1.5 billion in the company’s “discontinued operations” division include a €1.3 billion write-down on the asset’s value following a €3.4 billion write-down last year.

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