TAG Heuer chief executive officer Jean-Claude Biver has swept aside a number of senior executives at the Swiss watch brand to prevent embedded resistance to his vision for the brand.
Biver told Reuters that he had removed six ‘top managers’, replacing them with younger employees from within the company whom he was mentoring. Biver suggested that it was the wrong time to bring in experienced senior management from elsewhere within the industry whilst to attempts to turnaround the company.
The posts affected included TAG Heuer’s heads of marketing, sales, production and customer service.
Speaking to Reuters, Biver said: "When you are trying to make changes in the corporate culture, it is not the right time to bring in external people who do not know the history of the company."
TAG Heuer is in the midst of a transitional period, with Biver, who is also the Chairman of parent company LVMH’s watchmaking division, looking to reposition it at the entry level point of the group’s three mainstream watch brands.
Biver was concerned that TAG Heuer, under the leadership of former chief executive officer Stephane Linder who was removed in December, was encroaching on the activities of stablemates Zenith and Hublot, and had lost its focus by producing a number of more expensive product lines.
Signs of poor sales at TAG Heuer, which Biver attributes to a lack of focus on lower cost watches, began to materialise in September last year when the company cut 46 jobs in management and production as well as putting 49 employees on ‘partial unemployment’.
Biver is in the midst of a morale-boosting series of two-hour breakfast meetings with the entire workforce at TAG Heuer. The company has also offered to pay for train tickets for staff members wishing to attend both the ongoing Geneva Motor Show, where TAG Heuer has staged a huge exhibition, and Baselworld later this month.