The Watches of Switzerland Group’s chief operating officer Tony Broderick is retiring after a career spanning more than 40 years at the operation in which he rose from a warehouse supervisor in 1979 to become a right hand man of chief executive Brian Duffy, and a pivotal executive in taking the group public last year.
Mr Broderick first joined the board of directors in 2000 and has served as a main Board Director since, taking the role as chief operating officer in 2009.
He leaves with the group’s shares riding high, having increased 45% from an IPO price of 270p in May last year to to 390p early in January.
“During his time with the company, Tony has seen many ownership changes, management changes and market changes and his success is a tribute to his commitment, his personal adaptability and most significantly, the immediate respect and support that he commands. Tony will leave at the end of April, and until then will remain fully engaged and supportive of our business in the UK and US. I wish to thank him personally for all his support, advice and partnership and on behalf of the Directors and all of The Watches of Switzerland Group colleagues, wish him health and happiness in this next stage of his life”.
No replacement for the chief operating officer role has yet been announced but there has been a re positioning of senior management so that there are individuals in charge in the group’s two markets of the UK and United States.
David Hurley runs the operation in America as executive vice-president.
That role and responsibilities will be mirrored in the UK where Craig Bolton takes over as executive director.
Both will report directly to Mr Duffy, who explains: “Our US business is performing very well and it is quite amazing what has been achieved in such a short time. David has been the architect and leader of this success. Craig brings to this newly created role 14 years of experience and significant success in our Group and under his leadership, our UK retail brands, Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb have gone from strength to strength. We are well positioned as we move into 2020 with strong business momentum and exciting new growth opportunities in both the UK and US. This new structure will support these opportunities and we are fortunate to have Craig and David – two great business leaders”.