LVMH Replaces Leadership at Tiffany -- Update
By Suzanne Kapner
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE installed new management at
Tiffany & Co., as the French conglomerate seeks to place its
imprint on the U.S. jeweler and steer it through the pandemic.
LVMH executive Anthony Ledru is returning to Tiffany, where he
previously oversaw North American operations, as chief executive,
effective immediately. Alexandre Arnault, the son of LVMH CEO
Bernard Arnault, was appointed executive vice president of product
and communications. Michael Burke, the CEO of Louis Vuitton, will
become Tiffany's chairman.
Tiffany's current CEO Alessandro Bogliolo will depart on Jan.
22. Reed Krakoff, the chief artistic director, and Daniella Vitale,
executive vice president and chief brand officer, also will leave
after a short transition.
LVMH completed its $15.8 billion acquisition of the U.S. jeweler
on Thursday after months of wrangling over the price that led to
both companies suing each other. Bernard Arnault threatened to pull
out of the deal, arguing that the Covid-19 pandemic had harmed
Tiffany's business. In the end, he agreed to pay a 2.6% discount to
the original price.
"Tiffany is an iconic brand and a quintessential emblem of the
global jewelry sector," Bernard Arnault said in a statement
Thursday. "We are optimistic about Tiffany's ability to accelerate
its growth, innovate and remain at the forefront of our discerning
customers' most cherished life achievements and memories."
Mr. Ledru and Alexandre Arnault will relocate to Tiffany's
headquarters in New York. Both have an understanding of the U.S.
Mr. Ledru, 47 years old, has been executive vice president of
global commercial activities at Louis Vuitton since 2017. He had
previously served as the brand's CEO of the Americas. Before that,
he was senior vice president of North America at Tiffany from 2013
to 2014. He also served as global vice president of sales for
jeweler Harry Winston International and has worked for Cartier.
"I am delighted to rejoin Tiffany," Mr. Ledru said in a
statement. "I have deep confidence in LVMH's commitment to protect
the brand, drive its growth strategy and apply the highest
standards of retail excellence."
In a letter sent to Tiffany's employees on Thursday, Mr. Ledru
said that joining LVMH will allow the company to advance and
accelerate its strategies. Mr. Ledru said he plans to hold a
virtual town hall on Friday, where Tiffany employees will be able
to ask questions about "what this new chapter means for the company
and for you as individual team members."
Alexandre Arnault has led Rimowa since January 2017, a year
after LVMH bought an 80% stake in the German suitcase maker. He
began his career in the U.S. as a consultant at McKinsey & Co,
then went on to work in private equity at KKR. He joined LVMH and
Groupe Arnault, Bernard Arnault's investment firm, to focus on
Like other retailers, Tiffany's business had been hard hit by
the pandemic. But it has recovered in recent months. Holiday sales
rose 2% over the previous year, which the company said was a record
for the period.
LVMH will need to make Tiffany more relevant to younger
shoppers, lessen its dependence on engagement rings at a time when
fewer people are getting married and spur product innovation,
challenges that prior management had been tackling.
Write to Suzanne Kapner at Suzanne.Kapner@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 07, 2021 11:41 ET (16:41 GMT)
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