Catherine Renier, the Asia-Pacific president of watch and jewellery maison Van Cleef & Arpels (VCA), will take over as CEO of 175-year-old luxury Swiss watch maison, Jaeger-LeCoultre, effective May 1, according to communications seen by STYLE magazine.
The appointment will make Renier the only woman at the helm of a major Swiss luxury watch-only brand, an industry that has been dominated by men. With growing recognition of the increasingly important female market, Richemont – which owns VCA and Jaeger-LeCoultre – appointed Chabi Nouri as CEO of watch and jewellery maison Piaget last year.
A Frenchwoman, Renier has been based in Hong Kong with VCA since August 2008, first as Asia-Pacific commercial director and then as managing director of Hong Kong and Macau, before taking over as Asia-Pacific president, five years ago. She has been credited with establishing VCA as a major luxury maison in the region.
At Jaeger-LeCoultre, Renier will take over the position left vacant since last February, when CEO Daniel Riedo left the company. The maison – best known for its iconic Reverso timepieces – has been in the hands of deputy CEO Geoffroy Lefebvre, who will take over from Alain Zimmerman as CEO of Baume et Mercier on June 1. Zimmerman will take up a new position as Specialist Watchmakers E-distribution strategic project director at Richemont.
Renier’s position in Hong Kong will be filled by Nicolas Luchsinger, international retail director and director of the brand’s Heritage Collection, who is expected to report for duty on September 1.