Frédéric Arnault Appointed As CEO OF LVMH Watches

by Sameera Gamage

In what is a greater shake-up within LVMH, Frédéric Arnault has been named CEO of LVMH Watches, moving on from his CEO position at TAG Heuer.

The news comes amid a reshuffle in CEOs within the luxury watch groups as TAG Heuer and Zenith have both appointed new leaders. Frédéric Arnault’s father, Bernard Arnault, has been successfully running LVMH since its beginning and has overseen key changes within the luxury group.

LVMH was created in the 1980’s, when Bernard Arnault started building the house of luxury brands by buying a stake in fashion house Christian Dior. In 1987, Bernard Arnault brokered a deal to bring together Louis Vuitton with champagne powerhouse Moët et Chandon and cognac brand Hennessy, to form LV-M-H. This is the only luxury group to represent all five major sectors of the luxury market: Wines and spirits, Fashion and Leather Goods, Perfumes and cosmetics, Watches and jewellery and Selective Retail.

Frédéric Arnault with his father and owner of LVMH, Bernard Arnault.

Over the years, LVMH expanded at an astonishing rate by acquiring more than 75 brands, including the likes of Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, and Bulgari. LVMH is a family-owned business, with all five of Bernard Arnault’s children being in either management positions or heading the luxury companies within the LVMH group. Bernard Arnault’s eldest daughter, Delphine (48), is the CEO of Christian Dior, which Bernard bought outright back in 2017 for almost $13.1 billion. Antione (46) is head of communications at LVMH, Jean (25) is the director of watches at Luis Vuitton, Alexandre (31) acts as the vice president of Tiffany & Co, and now Frédéric Arnault (29) who was the CEO of TAG Heuer, will be the new acting head of the LVMH group.

The Arnault Family, operating LVMH Group

Frédéric Arnault started his work in the family business as the director of TAG Heuer’s connected smartwatches back in 2017, before he took over as CEO of the luxury Swiss watch manufacturer in 2020. Frédéric Arnault’s work at TAG Heuer has driven the brand into a modern powerhouse whilst still retaining the core essence of the brands heritage. TAG Heuer’s releases of the “Glassbox” Carrera (which you can read our full in-depth review here!) show Frédéric Arnault’s commitment to tradition, along with the fan favourite, the Yellow Gold Carrera Chronograph. Read our “Year in Review” article of TAG Heuer to see the timepieces that stood out the most for us in 2023, reflective of Frédéric Arnault’s amazing job at TAG Heuer last year.

Frédéric Arnault,now CEO of LVMH Watches.

As Frédéric Arnault moves on, the new CEO of TAG Heuer will be former Zenith CEO Julien Tornare. Julien Tornare has done an amazing job as CEO of Zenith since his takeover in 2017. Before working at Zenith, Tornare worked with Vacheron Constantin for 17 years! When Tornare took over as Zenith CEO, he found the brand to be quite subdued, especially with a lack of bold modern timepieces. Now, Zenith is much more adjusted to the 21st century, with a mixture of historical “revival” pieces, along with the more modern DEFY models.

Julien Tornare, now CEO of TAG Heuer.

“What I noticed from the beginning was that there had been very different directions taken by my predecessors. Each did something good, but sometimes in very different directions. So, there was a lot of confusion around the brand and people did not understand it.” 

Julien Tornare on his CEO position at Zenith

With Julien Tornare departing his position at Zenith, means that the CEO position needs to be filled. This was given to Benoit de Clerck, whose former position was the former Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Panerai, part of the Richemont group. We are all very excited to see where Zenith heads under the leadership of Benoit de Clerck.

Benoit de Clerck, now CEO of Zenith.

As the new CEO of LVMH Watches, Frédéric Arnault will report to Stéphane Bianchi, the CEO of LVMH Watches & Jewelry. This means that the newly appointed CEOs of the watch giants, Julien Tornare (TAG Heuer), Benoit de Clerck (Zenith) and Ricardo Guadalupe (Hublot) will all be reporting directly to Frédéric Arnault. With TAG Heuer and Zenith having major takeovers, we wait in anticipation to see the creations that will be unveiled this year. 2024 is shaping up to be an exciting one already!

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