Duke of Wellington and CEO meet their Waterloo at Richemont


Charles Wellesley, the 9th Duke of Wellington, is one of eight directors, including the CEO, who will retire from the board of Swiss luxury watch house Richemont next year.

Richemont’s CEO Yves-André Istel is the most senior board member who will retire next year from his executive position, but he will remain as executive chairman of the Group. Gary Saage, chief financial officer, will also leave in the summer next year to re-join his family in the United States.

Several of the outgoing board members, including the Duke of Wellington, will retain links to Richmemont by creating a new International Advisory Council.


The retirements triggered a dramatic restructuring designed to prepare Richemont for “rapidly changing technologies [that] bring significant challenges to traditional business models”.

Commenting on the restructuring, Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said: “The changes we have proposed today will strengthen the Group’s ability to respond to the dynamic markets in which we operate, especially in the developing field of digital marketing and e-commerce.”

Richemont has already named several executives whose promotion to the board will be ratified next year.

Nicolas Bos, current CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, will join the Board. Burkhart Grund, currently deputy chief financial officer, who will become chief financial officer.

Georges Kern, currently CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, will become head of watchmaking, marketing and digital.

Jérôme Lambert, currently CEO of Montblanc, who take the role of head of operations responsible for central and regional services and all Maisons other than jewellery and watchmaking.


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