With a brand as mammoth as Hublot and an area as large as North America, it takes a leader like Jean-Francois Sberro to cultivate a workplace culture that is as healthy as it is productive.
Built upon the sturdy foundations of “trust, autonomy, solidarity, balance and performance”, Hublot North America emerged from the pandemic “totally unscathed” according to Jean-Francois.
The figures back him up: the brand posted 40% growth in 2021 versus 2019, which was a record-breaking sales year for Hublot North America, plus a year-on-year 55% sales uplift in Q1 of 2022.
“Unprecedented,” he exhales.
Jean-Francois joined Hublot in Switzerland 13 years ago, and was posted to the US in 2012; three years later being “handed the keys to the North American subsidiary”.
It has since gone from strength to strength, although this has led to challenges in the past year with regards to replenishment.
“For the first time in my tenure at Hublot, we have ended each month of 2022 with exactly zero watches in stock in our North American subsidiary,” he shares.
“It is not a figure of speech: our safe was completely empty. A nice worry perhaps, but still a worry.”
Remaining practical, Jean-Francois knows that challenges lie ahead.
“We will try to ride the wave for as long as possible while preparing for the future, always keeping the long-term view in sight,” he says.
For the year ahead, Jean-Francois is hoping to build on the success of the recent boom in the US watch market, planning on consolidating Hublot’s growth and continuing to make significant gains in its market share.
Jean-Francois’ level-headedness speaks to his business prowess, as well as his passion for distance sports.
“I have already completed nine marathons as well as one full Ironman,” says the Frenchman, who lives in Florida with his wife and two young children.
“I see it as a form of active meditation that helps me keep my sanity.”