Patrick Ottomani has landed the role of chief executive for Audemars Piguet North America. He takes over the roles and responsibilities of Antonio Seward, who has been CEO at AP since 2017.
Mr Ottomani, who officially started in his new role on April 8, reports directly to Yves Meylan, chief commercial officer for Audemars Piguet at its headquarters in Switzerland.
Mr. Ottomani has spent almost his entire career working for LVMH, with spells at luxury shoemakers Berluti and Stefanobi in the 1990s and later as managing director for Berluti in the United States for 13 years from 2005 to 2018.
“After many years spent at a brand considered a leader in its category, I am very happy to join a family-owned company with an equally respected reputation. Audemars Piguet is one of the few manufacturers in the watch industry today dedicated to the fundamental values of craftsmanship. Joining the team is not only an honor, but also presents a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a family,” Mr Ottomani says.
He joins Audemars Piguet a year after it first hit sales of $1 billion and at a time when it is dramatically transforming its business model. Within five years, according to AP’s chief executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias, every watch from the brand will be sold from under an AP roof. The boss admits, however, that many of these AP boutiques will be run in partnership with existing or future retail partners through some form of franchise model.