LVMH names new CEO of Louis Vuitton, puts Arnault’s daughter in Dior
- Delphine Arnault becomes CEO of Christian Dior
- Pietro Beccari to replace Michael Burke at Louis Vuitton
- Burke to continue working with Arno
PARIS, January 11 (Reuters) – LVMH (LVMH.PA) Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault has shuffled the top management of his luxury goods empire, tightened his family’s grip by appointing his daughter Delphine to lead Christian Dior, and appointing a new president for Louis Vuitton.
Pietro Beccari, who has headed Dior since 2018, is moving to replace Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke, 65.
“Both are highly respected; logical promotions within the group,” said Credit Suisse analyst Natasha Brilliant.
Shares of LVMH, Europe’s most valuable company by nearly 380 billion euros ($408 billion), rose as much as 2% to reach new records. Shares in luxury companies have been boosted recently by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in China, a key market.
Delphine Arnault, 47, has worked at Louis Vuitton for the past decade alongside Burke and previously spent more than 12 years at Dior.
The company said in a statement that Burke, who is Bernard Arnault’s longest-serving lieutenant and was also president of jewelry brand Tiffany, will continue to work alongside senior Arnault, without giving details of his new role.
One of the fashion industry’s most influential executives, Burke has overseen the explosive growth of Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury brand, and has played a key role in elevating street styles into the realm of luxury in recent years.
Meanwhile, Bicari, who previously led LVMH-owned Fendi, has tripled sales of Christian Dior to 6.6 billion euros during his tenure, Citi estimates. LVMH does not provide details of the annual sales of its brands.
Resort shops, star-studded fashion shows
Beccari has pushed the label into new products, including beach accessories like surfboards and hammocks, bringing it closer to customers by setting up pop-up retail outlets in resort locations including Mykonos, Greece and Santa Barbara, California.
The CEO has spearheaded an overhaul of Paris’s trademark historic Avenue Montaigne address, turning it into a massive flagship with restaurants and a museum, reviving foot traffic in the neighborhood.
Dior’s Paris fashion shows, which were attended by international stars like K-pop singer Jisoo and Rihanna, drew screaming crowds of fans, and the brand lit up social media with a show from menswear designer Kim Jones in Egypt last month, with the pyramids serving as a backdrop.
Bernard Arnault was often seen in the front row, surrounded by his children.
“Succession planning in strategic roles has been key to the success of LVMH’s key brands over the past 20 years, so today’s steps are significant,” said Thomas Chauvet, Citi analyst.
The announced changes, which take effect in February, follow the recent appointment of Antoine Arnault, Bernard Arnault’s eldest son, to head the family’s holding company.
The family’s tightening grip on its empire also comes amid a wave of high-profile succession at other fashion companies in Europe, including at Prada. (1913.F) and owner of Zara Inditex.
Bernard Arnault, 73, has shown no signs he intends to step down soon, and the company last year raised the age limit for its CEO to 80 from 75.
All of his children hold management positions in the brands in the group, carefully groomed by senior executives as they rise through the ranks.
Of the five, Delpin Arnault was the most involved in fashion, as chair of the group’s Fashion Award for Upcoming Designers.
Delphine and Antoine, 45, are children from their father’s first marriage.
Alexandre Arnault, 30, is responsible for products and communications at Tiffany, while Frederic Arnault, 28, is CEO of another TAG Heuer group brand. The youngest, Jean Arnault, 24, heads marketing and product development for Louis Vuitton’s watch division.
As part of the management changes, the company is also bringing Tiffany into its watch and jewelry division, under Stephane Bianchi.
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(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mimosa Spencer). Editing by Mark Potter and Jason Neely
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